Mumbai: Trouble seems to be mounting for Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan. After facing barb from BJP MP Yogi Aditya Nath over his criticism for rising intolerance in the country, the Maharashtra Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has served notice to King Khan for featuring in advertisement for pan masala.
Not only SRK the FDA has also served a notice to actor Ajay Devagan for endorsing pan masala.
H.S. Kamble, commissioner of FDA, said, “Public personalities can’t advertise products that are banned in India. These advertisements present such products in a glamourised form, which encourages people into gutka consumption. We will soon send notices to Bollywood stars like Ajay Devgan and Shah Rukh Khan for advertising such products.”latest news
Mr Kamble was speaking at a conference at Tata Memorial Hospital on Wednesday while releasing a report titled, ‘Impact and effectiveness of ban on gutka in Maharashtra’.
The report revealed that despite the ban on gutka in 2015, about 67 per cent of retailers in the state still sell it and 92 per cent of such retailers accepted that customers approach them regularly to buy gutka. Moreover, the report also highlighted that due to loopholes in implementation of the ban, 50 per cent of the interviewed addicts failed to break their habit.
The study was conducted by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg School of Public Health along with World Health Organization (WHO) in seven states of India — Assam, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, New Delhi and Maharashtra. Around 61 retailers and 124 tobacco users were interviewed for the study.
Though it is mandatory for shopkeepers to display the message ‘Sale of tobacco products to minors is prohibited’, almost none of them follow the rule in the state. Also, out of the 61 outlets surveyed, 19 were located within 100 yards of educational institutes.
Commenting on this, Mr Kamble said “In the past few years, the number of shops selling gutka near educational institutes has gone down drastically. Our primary focus has been on saving the youth from getting addicted to gutka or any tobacco products.”
Shedding further light, Dr Pradeep Krishnatray, director of Centre for Communication and Change, said, “According to our survey, nearly 55 per cent of the retailers said that gutka is still being manufactured in the state.”
On the other hand, Mr Kamble said that manufacture of gutka has been stopped completely in the state. However, neighboring state, Gujarat has become a gateway in supply of tobacco to Maharashtra.
“In the past three years, we have seized gutka worth Rs 59.7 crore. Though we don’t have separate state-wise bifurcations, during investigations we have found out that 30 per cent of the seized gutka was being supplied from Gujarat,” said Mr Kamble.