Two years after prohibiting sale and consumption of alcohol, the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar has written to the Union Health Ministry to include “Khaini” as a food product under the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006.
“Pan Masala and Gutkha are already banned in the state as these are enlisted among food products by the FSSAI. We need to crack down on khaini as every fifth person in the state is said to be addicted to it,” PTI quoted Bihar’s principal secretary (health) Sanjay Kumar as saying.
He said that the Bihar government has asked the Union Health Ministry for intervention to facilitate introducing a ban on khaini as its consumption was responsible for a number of serious ailments.
“We have urged the Union health ministry to direct the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to include khaini in the list of food products. As per FSSAI guidelines, all food products containing tobacco and nicotine can be banned,” he said.
According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2016-17, 20 per cent of Bihar’s total population was addicted to “Khani”.
Consumption of raw tobacco leads to a number of diseases including mouth cancer and ailments affecting the lungs and the cardiovascular system.
(With PTI Inputs)