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October 11, 2019

Gutka ban

Newspost

 
October 11, 2019

This refers to the editorial ‘Tobacco troubles’ (Oct 7). In the Sindh Assembly, a bill was introduced to impose a ban on the sale and purchase of gutka, with a punishment of imprisonment for one to six years and fine up to Rs5, 00,000 to violators. This is a highly laudable legislation as oral cancer is prevalent among our people due to the use of tobacco-related products such as gutka. According to experts, nearly 95 percent dental and oral diseases are preventable by adopting better hygiene practices.

Though the stringent punishment envisaged in the bill may discourage the use of gutka, it is also necessary to stop the smuggling of betel nuts, chewing tobacco and carcinogenic stuff from any source. More important, the nuisance of gutka has taken a shape of an industry being run by a mafia under the umbrella of bigwigs. According to latest data, nearly 69 big factories producing gutka are working in Karachi alone and that too under the patronage of the police. While we welcome this bill, there is a question: will the Sindh government be able to implement the proposed law in its true letter and spirit?

Riaz Ahmad Soomro

Shikarpur

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