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Assessment of Gutka ban in Maharashtra: findings from a focus group discussion
International Journal of Head & Neck Surgery
According to Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) India 2009-2010, around 8.3% (13.4% among male and 2.5% amongfemale) of people in Maharashtra are gutka users. Gutkaconsumption not only causes oral cancer, but has also beenlinked with development of oral submucous fibrosis, aprecancerous lesion. Considering its harmful effects, gutka andpan masala were banned by Maharashtra Government fromJuly 19, 2012 disallowing their sale, manufacture, distributionand storage. Though the ban has come into enforcement, theevidence stating the extent of its implementation is sparse. Theobjectives of the study were to learn about perception of gutkaban, impact of the ban on gutka consumption, changes in thetrend of tobacco related products consumption, availability ofgutka to the public on demand and economic effects of the ban on users.
A Focus Group Discussion was conducted among currentand ex-gutka users on January 24, 2013 at Healis SekhsariaInstitute for Public Health, Navi Mumbai, India. A total of 11male, ex-gutka users from different professions, participated inthe discussion. The FGD lasted for 40 to 45 minutes. The verbalconsent for participation in the FGD was taken from therespondents.
The findings showed that with enforcement of the ban, 3out of 11 respondents completely stopped consumption of gutkaor any other tobacco product, whereas the rests switched toother tobacco products. All the respondents were aware aboutgutka ban and agreed that its a good step to reduce itsconsumption; however, most of them felt that the ban has notbeen implemented properly. According to them, the vendorsstill manage to sell gutka to their known regular customers.Since the ban has helped in compelling most of the users toquit gutka, it clearly implies that enforcement of ban with properimplementation is required to diminish gutka consumptionamong people.
Gauri Dhumal, Prakash C Gupta. Assessment OF Gutka ban in Maharashtra: Findings from Focus Group Discussion. Int J Head Neck Surg; 2013; 4(3): 115-118