Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey on Sunday clarified that they have not written any letter to the Center to facilitate introducing a ban on khaini, consumption of which causes a number of serious ailments.
Pandey said they are against the consumption of gutkha and khaini, found to be the major causes of mouth cancer, but have not asked the Centre for its prohibition.
The Health Minister further appealed to the people of the state to stop the consumption of gutkha and khaini.
According to a recent media report, the state government wrote to the Union Health Ministry, urging it to notify khaini as a food product. Upon notification, the state government can ban the product on health grounds.
According to Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) Act, any food product which has the presence of tobacco and nicotine in it, has to be banned.
Two years earlier, the Bihar government had banned the sale and consumption of liquor in the state.