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Smokeless tobacco sold in Manzini shops

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MANZINI – With no law against it, smokeless or chewing tobacco that causes cancer is being sold to anyone in Swaziland for E2, or even more, per sachet.

Banned in many states in India where it originates, the smokeless tobacco has found its way into Swaziland and it seems no one is aware of its dangers as it is being sold in Manzini shops without a problem.

There are many brands of the smokeless tobacco available in the country, but one that draws people’s attention is the Goa 1000 Gutkha, which has large inscriptions stating that it ‘Causes Cancer’ on the sachet.

You don’t smoke the Goa 1000 Gutkha, neither do you swallow it. All you do is slosh it around your mouth and spit out the brown juices every few seconds.

It is called smokeless or chewing tobacco because you chew and spit it out, not smoke it, so it is as dangerous as cigarettes can be.

The sucking and chewing allows nicotine, which is an addictive drug drug to be absorbed into the bloodstream through the tissues in the mouth.

The Goa 1000 Gutkha, which is in the possession of this publication, is manufactured by a company called Shree Meenakshi Food products pvt.ltd.

Confirmed

The Pune municipal corporation (PMC) in India in its study confirmed that magnesium carbonate, a carcinogenic material used in the manufacture of gutkha, has been found in the seized samples of ‘Goa 1000’ sachets.

In another scientific analysis sourced online by the India Central Tobacco Research Institute (CTRI) the Goa 1000 Gutkha brand was found to have 2.04 gm of nicotine per 100 gm of the product.

The report also reveals that pH levels were found to be contributing to quick absorption of nicotine in the blood, delivering to the consumer the desired kick. This translates into high-addiction value of the product in question.

Minister of Health and Social Welfare Benedict Xaba confirmed knowledge of this type of tobacco in the country.

He said: "We are aware of such tobacco being sold in the country but since we have no law that is against it, our hands are tied. The ministry is working around the clock to have a Bill passed so that such products can be banned as they cause cancer and other chronic illnesses."

 

He stated that many people who know that the present law is silent on such tobacco easily take advantage of the situation.

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