The Delhi government informed the Delhi High Court that it hopes within two weeks to decide whether or not to ban gutka, a smokeless tobacco product that incorporates a number of flavor and fragrance ingredients along with nicotine, according to English-language newspaper The Hindu.
According to the petition, filed through counsel Varun Chopra, eight states have banned the sale of gutka in their respective territories, but the Delhi government is yet to take any action, Indian press reports said (although previous press reports revealed that a Delhi minister had suggested that the sale of tobacco products in the city should be banned).
The petitioner said that despite clear evidence and ample examples of tight regulations and actions taken by other states in the country, the enforcement agencies of the Delhi government had failed to take any appropriate action against the manufacturers, importers and distributors of tobacco products. For example, gutka was banned in Maharashtra as well as in Haryana, India by their respective governmental bodies in late July.
According to a survey conducted by the World Health Organization on the use of oral tobacco and its implications, about 25% people in the capital consumed tobacco in some form or the other.