Serious action needed to wipe out gutka culture

Karachi, October 10, 2017 (PPI-OT):Special Assistant to Chief Minister Sindh for Human Rights and Special Education, Ms. Rehana Laghari has on Tuesday deplored that Sindh was being faced with acute health and hygiene related issues, and among others, one of these deemed critically important was the sale and purchase of Smokeless Tobacco (Gutka) in almost every Pan shop, including street side vendors. Despite serious health and safety warnings issued by the World Health Organization (WTO) – against its consumption by people of all ages, especially children; no concrete measures seemed effective on ground for legally handling and banning the commercial and retail sale of Smokeless Tobacco (Gutka) throughout the province.

This she said while presiding over a meeting regarding legislation bill to ban commercial and retail sale of smokeless tobacco (gutka) in Sindh at her office. The meeting was attended by Secretary Human Rights, Dr. Tanveer Ahmed Quraishi, Secretary Law, Iftikhar Shalwani, Secretary, Sindh Solid Waste Management Board, Nadir Khan, Additional Secretary Food, Amjad Laghari, AIG Admin Sindh Police, Syed Asad Raza, and other stake holders.

Ms. Rehana informed that consumption of Smokeless Tobacco (Gutka) is strongly linked with mouth, tongue, oesophageal carcinomas. And this menace is increasingly responsible for not only the Burden of Disease (BOD), but also quadrupled the government’s Healthcare expenditure. Moreover, it is escalating on a yearly basis, leading to loss of countless lives owing to its consumption.

She opined that It was a Prime time that all the offenders be brought to the book – and be strictly punished under the subject law (if any such statute exists) or to fill in the gaps in case of any legal lacunae. All legal nuances have to be cemented to ensure outright ban on the commercial production, distribution, sale and transport, including retail selling of this misplaced consumable hazardous substance.

She asked all the participants to come up with the recommendations in the next meeting so the points may be included and help in formation the new bill. This meeting was meant to overview current situation prevailing due to Gutka and laws if exists.

For more information, contact:
Information and Archives Department
Directorate of Press Information
Government of Sindh
95-Sindh Secretariat 4-B, Karachi
Tel: +92-21-99204423, +92-21-99204401

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