Assessment of Gutka ban in India

The study to assess implementation of the ban was perceived to be useful in knowing the extent of implementation of gutka ban and tobacco cessation activity that has been brought about, which is the sole purpose of the ban. It will also devise strategies regarding switching of tobacco use that might further help channel tobacco cessation programs efforts. Therefore the study was undertaken with following


  • To understand the level of implementation of gutka ban
  • To understand the effect of gutka ban on tobacco consumption


We assessed the ban by conducting

  • Focus Group Discussion
  • Survey of gutka users
  • Key Informant interviews of vendors
  • Passive observations of the pan shops

Current Status:

We conducted 8-10 Key Informants interviews (KI) for vendors from different parts of the city in each state. The passive observation was conducted on 20 pan-shops visited during KI for package display and sell of gutka.

To conduct survey among gutka users, we visited pan shops located around crowded public transport stops (railway/bus depot) in the city. Customers present around these shops were approached. We selected no more than 4 shops located near one railway/bus depot stop and maintained that no two shops should be located within 100 meters of each other. Respondents were screened for being former and /or current gutka users and after their informed consent survey was administered. We completed 500 surveys per state.

We also did focus group discussion among former and current gutka users in two states; the cities focused were Mumbai in Maharashtra and Indore in Madhya Pradesh.

According to Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) India 2009-10, around 8.3% (13.4% among male and 2.5% among female) of people in Maharashtra and 17% in Madhya Pradesh (26.7% male and 6.4% female) are gutka users. Gutka consumption not only causes oral cancer, but has also been linked with development of oral sub mucous ļ¬brosis, a precancerous lesion. Considering the harmful effects, Madhya Pradesh Government banned Gutka on March 31, 2012 and Maharashtra Government banned Gutka and Paan Masala on July 19, 2012, for one year, disallowing their sale, manufacture, distribution and storage. Though the ban has come into enforcement, the evidence stating the extent of its implementation is sparse. To assess the effect of implementation of ban, a study titled “Assessment of Gutka ban in India” was proposed by Healis Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health; funded by Center for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK).

At present, the program phase has been completed and data analysis is ongoing.

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