The intake of the scented supari mix, which has a flavour and scent similar to gutkha, was on the rise among children and youth, and after receiving information from various health agencies that consumption of the said products increases addiction, the FDA has banned the products for one year, renewable thereafter.
Shashikant Kekare, joint commissioner, FDA (Food), Pune, said, “As per the new order, a ban on scented supari and scented tobacco and other related products along with gutkha is in place. The ban has been implemented from July 20 this year.”
Citing references from various studies carried out by several hospitals, research centres and dental colleges on the ill effects of these products, the FDA pointed out 29 references to the dangers of consumption. “Any supari and tobacco pouches that are on sale with ingredients like scented items, tobacco, nicotine, anti-caking agent, essence and artificial flavours come under the ban,” said Shivaji Desai, assistant commissioner, FDA (Food).
The order also mentions the ailments that can be caused due to consumption of scented supari and tobacco. Elaborating on the health risks, Kekare said, “According to the reports available with FDA, acute hypermagnesia (as the product contains magnesium carbonate), oral cancer, stomach cancer, and various illnesses related to intestine and reproductive system can be caused due to consumption of these products.”