Bahrain seizes illegal tobacco in raids
Manama, August 18, 2011
Large quantities of the illegal chewing tobacco have been seized by health authorities during a series of raids across Bahrain.
Hundreds of sachets of the product were confiscated from stores in Manama and Muharraq within last week.
A source yesterday said the Industry and Commerce Ministry would be notified about the raids and action taken against the offenders.
"Chewing tobacco is illegal in Bahrain but a lot of it comes from the Indian sub-continent," he said. "People bring it with their personal belongings and then sell it in Bahrain."
The source said the situation in Bahrain was better than it was a few years ago when chewing tobacco sachets were openly sold in the market.
"We had then carried out raids and confiscated a lot," he said. "We have started this drive again, particularly targeting smaller outlets in Bahrain that sell it clandestinely."
Health Ministry health education director Dr Amal Al Jowder said side-effects of chewing tobacco included stained teeth, bad breath, sores on the gums and in the mouth that were difficult to heal and other dental problems.
"This can be very harmful and can lead to cancer of the mouth in the long run," she said. "There is an increased heart rate and high blood pressure and those addicted to it are more prone to heart attacks and strokes."
Dr Al Jowder said cancers of vital organs such as stomach, oesophagus, bowels and bladder were also more frequent in those who chew tobacco. – TradeArabia News Service
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