Sale of chewable tobacco products goes unabated
Through your esteemed daily, I would like to highlight that despite a complete ban on the sale of Gutka, Chutki, Zarda and other similar tobacco products across the State, the practice still continues unabated in the outskirts of Jammu City due to laxity on part of the concerned law enforcing agencies.
In the outskirts of the city, one will find all the items displayed in a beautiful manner and sold openly even to the children below the age group of 18 years.
A brief round is enough to conclude that none of the shopkeepers has stopped selling these products which are eating into all age groups, especially the youth. In fact, the shopkeepers after the ban have started earning more as these products are now being sold in black and at a much higher rate than the printed one. A sachet of Rs 5 is being sold at Rs 15 and that with MRP of Rs 15 is sold at Rs 30 to 35 and those who are habitual of these products are buying it without any hesitation.
It is really sad that chewable tobacco products are easily available in the market despite the ban. Moreover, children below the age of 14 years are habitual of chewing these products as all these products are easily available to them and no one is there to keep a check on this. In Channi there are many unoccupied plots where labour class resides and I have seen many times these children consuming tobacco products. On an average they consume 4-5 Chutki packets in a single day and no one is there to keep a check on this. I believe it is lack of awareness as these people are mostly illiterate.”
It is really sad that our young generation is getting addicted to such products and no one is bothered about it. The need of the hour is to implement the ban completely and moreover, make people aware about the harmful effects of these products.
D.P Singh (Raju);