Vardhan said this on Thursday while launching an anti-tobacco website and kicking off a campaign showcasing the plight of a cancer victim.
In his letter, Vardhan said several states might have banned guthka but flavoured and scented tobacco continued to be sold in attractive packets and these were affordably priced to target the poor, official sources said.
"These are packaged in a shiny and colourful manner and are available at low price making them affordable to the poor and vulnerable groups like women and children," he wrote, arguing that smokeless tobacco is behind almost 90 percent of oral cancer cases.
Citing the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations, 2011, he noted that it put a ban on the use of tobacco and nicotine in any food product.
Vardhan, in his communication, said many states including Maharashtra, Mizoram, Manipur, Dadar & Nagar Haveli and Andhra Pradesh have banned gutkha, zarda and other flavoured chewable form of tobacco and requested the chief ministers of other states and union territories to follow suit.
In another event, he launched campaign 'Sunita', named after a 27-year-old woman suffering from oral cancer caused by tobacco consumption, and also launched a website to boost campaign against the harmful addiction.
Emphasising the government's commitment against tobacco consumption, he said its first budget effected a 61 percent hike in tax rates on cigarettes.
"Just the enhanced revenue which will flow in would be enough to fund 12 new AIIMS in the country," Vardhan said, adding that the government is also planning to set up several modern cancer hospital across the country.
The face of Sunita, who chewed tobacco products, was disfigured by oral cancer and though the Madhya Pradesh native and mother of two children has survived but she, according to doctors, faces 50 percent chance of the disease recurring.
"Nobody should suffer what I have suffered," is her message and she is at the centre of one of the ministry's video campaigns.
The website has been developed by the ministry with technical assistance from World Lung Foundation.

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