Concerned over the rising number of whitener addicts in the city, the Anti-Narcotic Cell of the city police held a meeting with whitener distributors yesterday and issued sale guidelines. Shopkeepers have now been asked to sell whitener pens instead of bottles to reduce chances of minors having access to the substance.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (economic offence wing and cyber crime) Sanjay Shinde said, “Whitener is ruining the children’s future. We recently conducted a meeting with whitener distributors in the city and issued them guidelines.”

Police Inspector Satish Devre, in-charge of Anti-Narcotic Cell, said, “All the 24 distributors and wholesalers attended the meeting. As whitener is not included in the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, we will be talking to public prosecutors on what action can be taken against the defaulters.”

The meeting was held after NGOs, hospitals and parents complained of the rising number of ‘whitener sniffing’ addicts in the age group of 8 to 18 years.

Experts caution that if a child is making too many mistakes while doing homework and using whitener too frequently, then it is probably time you sit up and take note. The child may be addicted to the solution and it’s diluter, which is a silent but rapidly growing addictive item among adolescents.

“The students pour the whitener on a handkerchief and use it as an inhalant. They also apply it on their nails and lick it. It gives a sudden kick when it reaches the lungs,” Ajay Dudhane, founder-president of city-based Anandvan De Addiction Centre, said.