The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, Sep. 11, 2012 7:57AM EDT
NEW DELHI -- Authorities in India's capital have decided to ban chewing tobacco in response to a surge in mouth and throat cancer.
New Delhi state Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit announced the ban on Monday, saying such products pose a serious health hazard.
Chewing tobacco is widely popular in India, but is already banned in eight of the country's 28 states.
New Delhi official Hari Om said the ban will cover the manufacture, sale, display, transportation and storage of chewable forms of tobacco. The penalty for violating the ban will be up to seven years in prison.
Anand Grover, a U.N. special rapporteur on health, says chewing tobacco is considered a food product and can be banned for containing harmful ingredients.