• May 20, 2024

Cigarette lobby said to be behind bans on smokeless tobacco products

Smokeless tobacco manufacturers inIndiahave joined hands to launch a nation-wide media campaign to tell people that the ban on their products is unfair and is the ‘doing of the powerful cigarette lobby’, according to a Times of India story relayed by the TMA.

The campaign features newspaper advertisements that contest the ban on gutkha and pan masala, stating that these products contain less tobacco and cancer causing substances than cigarettes contain.

Fourteen states have so far banned the manufacture, distribution and sale of gutkha and pan masala containing tobacco.

The bans have been brought in under the Food Safety Standards Authority of India, which bans all ‘food products’ with tobacco or nicotine.

There are no state bans on loose tobacco or smoking tobacco products.

In a story published last month, The Times of India quoted tobacco analysts as saying that the bans on various oral tobacco-containing products, such as gutkha, were likely to be positive for cigarette companies.

The bans come at a time when efforts in many countries are being aimed at trying to get smokers who won’t quit their habit to change instead to smokeless products.