A recommendation for blanket ban on smokeless tobacco products.has been made to the government in a report submitted by National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
The recommendation is in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), NICPR said in a statement.
The NICPR has been designated as a WHO-FCTC global knowledge hub for prevention and control of smokeless tobacco (SLT).
The use of SLT products, which includes pan masala, gutkha and khaini, is a serious public health issue in India and the region. Globally there are nearly 36 crore SLT users, the statement said.
It said that around 80 per cent of these live in South-East Asia and 66 per cent in India and, according to the latest Global Adult Tobacco Survey India report, nearly 20 crore Indians use SLTs.
The report has strongly recommended banning of manufacture, selling and importing of such products, organising awareness programmes and training to health professionals for providing behavioural interventions, specifically for smokeless tobacco cessation, taxing of such products and preventing their sale to and by minors, the statement said.