Gutka

Gutka (Hindi Gutka (Hindi ?, Marathi ? Gujarati ?, Punjabi ?, also spelled gutkha, guttkha, or guthka, Urdu ?,) is a preparation of crushed areca nut (also called betel nut), tobacco, catechu, paraffin, slaked lime and sweet or savory flavorings. It is manufactured in India and exported to a few other countries. A mild stimulant, it is sold across India in small, individual-sized packets that cost between 2 and 10 rupees per packet. It is consumed much like chewing tobacco, and like chewing tobacco, it is considered responsible for oral cancer and other severe negative health effects.Characteristics Gutkha is a powdery, granular, light brownish to white substance. Within moments, the gutkha begins to dissolve and turn deep red in color. It imparts upon its user a "buzz" somewhat more intense than that of tobacco.[citation needed] [edit]Effects Highly addictive and a known carcinogen, gutkha is currently the subject of much controversy in India. Many states have sought to curb its immense popularity by taxing sales of gutkha heavily or by banning it outright. Excessive gutkha use can eventually lead to loss of appetite, promote unusual sleep patterns, and loss of concentration along with other tobacco-related problems.[citation needed] A gutkha user can easily be identified by prominently stained teeth ranging from dirty yellowish-orange to reddish-black. The stains are difficult to remove by normal brushing and usually need the attention of a dentist[citation needed]. After gu

kha is consumed, it is generally spat onto a wall or at the ground, causing an unsightly red stain that is quite resistant to the elements. Some building owners have taken to combating this unpleasantness by painting murals of gods on their walls, with the idea that gutkha chewers would not spit on a god. Ban [edit]India Several states of India have banned the sale, manufacture, distribution and storage of gutka and all its variants. As of November 2012, gutka is banned in 16 states and 3 union territories. Gutka is banned under the provision to ban any food product containing harmful adulterants in the centrally enacted Food Safety and Regulation (Prohibition) Act 2011. The Act allows these products to be banned for a year and it can be extended every year before it lapses, resulting in a pseudo permanent ban. The ban is enforced by the state public health ministry, the state Food and Drug Administration and the local police. Enforcement of the law is generally lax and many shops still sell gutka, although it may not be displayed. Enforcemnent is stricter in some regions like Mumbai and Delhi, but illegal sale of gutka still occurs. Offenders can be fined 200 (US$3.64) according to the Control of Tobacco Products Act (COTPA). The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), under which the ban has been regulated, said offenders can face six months to three years in jail. The law has provisions of imposing fines up to 25000 on selling of products that are injurious to health.