Delhi government bans all forms of chewing tobacco

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW DELHI (AP) — India's capital has banned chewing tobacco in an effort to lower the high incidence of mouth and throat cancers.

The Delhi government ordered the prohibition of the sale, purchase and possession of all forms of chewable tobacco, saying violators can be imprisoned for up to six months and fined up to 300,000 rupees ($4,500).

Earlier attempts to impose a ban were unsuccessful because tobacco manufacturers went to court to block their implementation.

Health activists and doctors have welcomed the ban, which was announced last week. Chewable tobacco products reportedly cause 90 percent of all mouth cancers in India. Health groups have mounted an intensive public awareness campaign about their risks.