Gutka (also spelled gutkha, guttkha, guthka) is a preparation of crushed betel nut, tobacco, and sweet or savory flavorings. It is manufactured in India and exported to a few other countries. A mild stimulant, it is sold across India in small, individual-size packets that cost between 1 and 4 rupees apiece. It is consumed much like chewing tobacco, and like chewing tobacco it is considered responsible for oral cancer and other severe negative health effects.
Used by millions of adults, it is also marketed to children. Some packaging does not mention tobacco as an ingredient, and some brands are pitched as candies - featuring packaging with children's faces and are brightly colored. Some are chocolate-flavored, and some are marketed as breath fresheners. Highly addictive and a known carcinogen, gutka is currently the subject of much controversy in India. Many states have sought to curb its immense popularity by taxing sales of gutka heavily or by banning it outright.