The Nagaland government has taken a massive step forward towards public health. The government permanently banned the manufacture, storage, sale and distribution of all forms of processed sweet flavoured/scented/chewable tobacco. Whether going by the name or form of gutkha, pan-masala, zarda, etc. if it contains tobacco or nicotine as ingredients, it will not available in Nagaland hereon.
Food Safety Commissioner, M Patton issued a notice saying, the prohibitory order was imposed in pursuance of Regulation 2:3:4 of the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sale) Regulations, 2011. He said the prohibition will come into effect in the entire state of Nagaland in the interest of public health.
The order also said that non compliance with this order would be punishable under Section 59 of Food Safety and Standards Act.
There will be a number of critics that will consider this an infringement on the rights of the people in Nagaland, however, it is in public interest. Nevertheless, how far can the government go when it comes to public interest?
A government can make any decision and claim it is in the best interest of the public, however, that may or may not be the case. In that sense the Nagaland government is walking a thin line.