Cigarette: Pictorial warning passed

19 February 2014 01:26 pm - 18     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The government today enacted three regulations with the backing of the opposition, making it compulsory to have pictorial health warnings on cigarette packets, as a cost-effective way of increasing public awareness on the dangers of tobacco use.

The regulations issued under the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol Act, were taken up for debate in the House today. Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena in his opening remarks during the debate said the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control required the parties to it to implement such health warnings on tobacco packages and labelling.  The Minister said Sri Lanka became a signatory to this Convention in 2005 and as a follow-up action in the control of tobacco use, the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol was established.

 “We should have enacted these regulations in 2008. Yet, we are doing it today - six years afterwards.  In Sri Lanka, there are 1000 deaths occurring on a daily basis, and non-communicable deceases, mostly caused by tobacco and alcohol use account for 60 percent of them,” he said.
 
 As per the regulations, these pictorial health warnings should cover more than 30 per cent of cigarette packets. The Minister said this had been implemented successfully in countries such as Thailand, where such warnings covered more than 70 per cent of the packs.  

“There is a direct interrelation between the rise of cancer patients and the smoking habit.  Today, 20 per cent of hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from diseases caused by tobacco use, drug addiction and alcoholism. Sri Lanka is a country offering free health services. It is unaffordable for us to treat such patients for a prolonged time. The income accumulated by way of taxes on tobacco products is hardly sufficient to recover the cost for the medication of these patients,” he said.

 UNP MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam supported the Health Ministry’s initiative in this regard. Yet, he said though there are laws, drug trafficking and alcoholism are on the rise in the country today. He charged that government politicians were behind such black economic activities.
“Today, laws remain in statute books,” he said.  (KB & YP)
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  Comments - 18

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  • S. Perera Wednesday, 19 February 2014 07:19 PM

    We would like to know what happened to the court proceedings initiated by Tobacco Company against this implementation.

    Tariq Wednesday, 19 February 2014 07:24 PM

    No point posting pictorials on the packs itself. It's just a waste since a few people only buy packs. But many buy in loose quantities. Do something about that. via DM Android App

    Sham Wednesday, 19 February 2014 07:26 PM

    How about stopping the production. Don't they think about this in parliament? (They don't because there is a tax for that too... via DM Android App

    Asanka Wednesday, 19 February 2014 02:16 PM

    Prohibit selling loose cigarettes now and allow only pack of 20s. This is good for poor people so that they will be reluctant to spend 600 per pack.

    kondebendapucheena Wednesday, 19 February 2014 02:21 PM

    WELL DONE

    sinha Wednesday, 19 February 2014 02:34 PM

    BRAVO,BRAVO HON.SIRISENA YOU CONQUERED ALL ODDS. ONE MORE TO CONQUER SIR i.e. DRUG POLICY.
    HATS OFF TO YOU.

    Jayasekara Wednesday, 19 February 2014 02:49 PM

    When will betel pack (Bulath wita) carry the pictures

    asoka Wednesday, 19 February 2014 02:52 PM

    quit tobacco and promote cannabis...

    Relax Thursday, 20 February 2014 01:06 AM

    Good Idea. Like Singapore

    Vinod Wednesday, 19 February 2014 03:02 PM

    if they stop production your cost of living will increase in folds...

    Suq Madique Thursday, 20 February 2014 01:09 AM

    How about pictures on private buses on the damage they create?

    Chandima Wednesday, 19 February 2014 03:33 PM

    Sham need to be more matured to understand it.

    Minister Wednesday, 19 February 2014 03:35 PM

    Yes, yes. please do something against selling loose cigarettes. CTC will definitely take this as a cost saving effort by not printing packets and then popularizing loose cigarettes. Why not implement a law that all outlets selling loose cigarettes must display the picture that must be printed on packs. Anyway we congratulate the Minister of Health for this great achievement. Hats off to you sir.

    tony Wednesday, 19 February 2014 03:36 PM

    NO SMOKER WILL CARE OF HEALTH WARNINGS. WHAT ABOUT WARNINGS AND BAN ON DRUGS. IMPOSE DEATH SENTENCE TO THOSE, SELLING. IMPORTING, BUYING, CONSUMING AND ASSISTING THOSE INVOLVED IN DRUG RELATED TRADE EITHER DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY. AND DONT FORGET, LAWS ALONE IS NOT ENOUGH, IT SHOULD BE IMPLEMENTED WITHOUT ANY LOOPHOLES

    Jeevendra Friday, 21 February 2014 05:47 AM

    Ban it completely as smoking cigarettes is premeditated murder

    ikram Wednesday, 19 February 2014 06:59 PM

    shaa now even the local cigarettes will look imported :p via DM Android App

    SLBoy Wednesday, 19 February 2014 01:34 PM

    Thank you Mr. Maithreepala Sirisena

    jim pappa Thursday, 20 February 2014 02:55 PM

    There was a jungle-law way back in 1988-89, that is cutting the mouth of those found smoking ! Believe me, that was 100% more effective !


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