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TN health department to seal shops that sell gutka and paan

Chennai, July 23(BPNS)

Tamil Nadu health department will take stringent action against those shops that sell ‘Gutka’ and ‘ Paan’ which are banned in the state. A study by the health department revealed that around 30 crores of these items were sold in the state in the past eight years.

TN health minister, Ma Subramanian in a press release on Friday said that the government would shut the shops that sell the contraband items even after notices are served to them. The minister in the release said that if a complaint is received against a shop that it was selling Gutka or Paan, the health authorities would serve a notice to them and if again such shops sell the items, then fines would be levied.

The shops that indulge in selling Gutka and Paan items even after fines are levied would be shut. Minister said that if the livelihoods become affected, the shop owners would understand the gravity of the situation.

Government, according to the minister would act strictly against the erring officers and action would be taken against those officials who fail to conduct inspection on these shops and prevent the sale of the banned items.

Ma Subramanian while speaking to BPNS said, “If 10 shops in a district of Tamil Nadu is shut in this manner, then the Gutka and Paan menace of the state would end then and there. Chief Minister has already directed the ministers in charge of the districts to be on the vigil against such shops and to take immediate action by alerting the concerned district officials.”

The district food safety officers who work to convert their districts into tobacco-free zones will be awarded by Chief Minister, M.K.Stalin. The health minister said that these district food safety officers will receive a letter of appreciation and a prize from the Chief Minister.

The  Tamil Nadu health department will create awareness programme against tobacco consumption in schools in association with the state education board as well as CBSE and ICSE boards. The department is also contemplating to produce short videos with popular actors and sportspersons speaking against tobacco to create awareness among children on the pitfalls of consuming the dreaded products of tobacco like gutka and paan.