An expert said yesterday Sri Lanka had the potential to introduce legislation calling for the total ban on tobacco consumption by those born after 2000.
Singapore National University Professor A.J. Berrick told a seminar on tobacco consumption that academics had submitted a research paper on the possibility of stopping tobacco consumption altogether by restricting the access to tobacco by individuals born after 2000.
Deputy Solicitor General Vijitha Malalgoda said there were practical difficulties in introducing such legislation but said it was a step in the right direction as it could make a significant impact on the reduction of tobacco consumption in the country.
“I think it’s a good move. Whether we can do it is a matter that should be considered. Up to now we don’t have any legislation in this form but I see no reason why we can’t introduce this to our local laws,” Mr. Malalgoda said.
The National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) Chairman Carlo Fonseka said it was necessary to explore the possibilities of introducing such legislation to control tobacco consumption and that implementing such a proposal in Sri Lanka should be considered.
Mr. Berrick said one of the key methods of implementing this policy would be to submit evidence of a person’s age when purchasing cigarettes or other tobacco products.
He said their research showed that there was strong support for the proposal in Singapore where some 60 per cent were smokers. (Olindhi Jayasundere)