The Telangana government has banned the manufacture and sale of gutka and pan masala containing tobacco and nicotine for a year.

The commissioner of food and safety in Telangana announced the ban citing public health concerns.

Telangana had previously banned the sale of gutka across the state in 2021. However, the order faced legal challenges in 2022, due to which the ban order was not renewed, reported The Times of India, quoting K Balaji Raju, the assistant food controller of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation.

“For the last four to five months, the sale was being carried out, but this order puts a stop to it,” said Raju.

After the announcement, Mohammed Salahuddin Dakhni, the president of Pan Shop Owners Association of Telangana, told The Hindu he welcomed the ban.

Dakhni, however, urged the government to exempt chewing tobacco and zarda as “millions of families depend on these sales for their livelihood”.

“There are about 1.5 lakh pan shops in Telangana,” he said. “We support banning gutka and many shops have already stopped selling it.”

Last week, the Tamil Nadu government also extended the ban on gutka, pan masala and other chewable products with tobacco or nicotine for another year, reported The Hindu.