To verify the spread of Covid-19, UP prohibits the manufacture and sale of masala bread

LUCKNOW: Fearing that the habit of spitting after tobacco use may increase the spread of Covid-19, the Uttar Pradesh government banned the manufacture, distribution and sale of masala bread in the state. The orders in this regard were approved by the commissioner, the ministry of food security and drug administration on Wednesday.

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The union and state governments are taking steps to contain the coronavirus epidemic in the country. This is why the country has imposed a 21-day blockade. The habit of spitting after eating paan masala or sharing your bags can contribute to the spread of infection. As a result, the state has imposed a total ban on the manufacture, distribution and sale of paan masala with immediate effect, the government order said.

The order also stated that those who violate the ban will invite police action and punishment under the relevant provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act and the Food Safety Act.

Previously, the additional chief secretary of the department of public and household relations, UP Awanish Awasthi, had said that the government would ensure a strong implementation of the COTPA (Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products) Act.

Spitting in public was a health hazard and the CM has instructed strict action against those caught spitting paan or chewing tobacco, Awasthi had said Tuesday.

According to the Global Tobacco Survey for Adults, a total of 5.3 million adult adults in UP were using some form of tobacco.

Conducted by the Tata Institute for Social Sciences (TISS), the survey showed that although the use of cigarettes or bidis had decreased, the consumption of smokeless forms such as masala bread and khaini had increased. It showed that Khaini (15.9%) topped the prevalence list followed by gutka (11.5%), betel quid with tobacco (10.2%) and pan masala with tobacco (7.2%).

Welcoming the move, anti-smoking activist and pulmonary oncologist at Tata Memorial Hospital, Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi said: Smoking is an established risk factor for many respiratory infections like influenza. Different studies show that smokers had an increased risk of complications caused by the coronavirus.

A study published in the Chinese Medical Journal, which conducts research among coronavirus-affected patients, found that those with a history of smoking were 14 times more likely to develop pneumonia than nonsmokers.

Preliminary evidence shows us that the expression of the ACE2 gene, the mechanism that the new corona virus uses to infect cells, is significantly higher in smokers than nonsmokers, suggesting greater susceptibility among smokers, he said.