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Ban on retail fags sale, 180ml arrack bottles soon: NATA Chairman

20 February 2021 04:41 pm - 9     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Action will be taken to ban the selling of 180ml arrack bottles and cigarettes as individual sticks, the National Authority on Tobacco & Alcohol (NATA) said.

NATA Chairman Dr. Samadhi Rajapaksa told the Daily Mirror that retail selling of cigarettes and the buying capacity of 180ml arrack bottles had become an inevitable trend in the country.

"The tax on tobacco and alcohol must be increased. Selling and consuming of arrack comes in 180ml bottles have become very high and due to which consequent anti-social activities too have increased in society, that also impacts the environment as empty bottles are strewn in the surrounding environment. These bottles have become a daily ritual for daily wage earners," Dr. Rajapaksa said.

Rules will be implemented not to manufacture cigarette packets with a maximum number of 20 sticks, he said.

Therefore, people will be discouraged from buying cigarettes due to unaffordable higher selling price. This could decrease the number of smokers in the country, he said.

A total number of 110 deaths are being reported daily due to smoking and consuming alcohol, he said.

"60 people who smoke die every day and 55% of them were under the age of 70-years. 55 people who consume liquor perish every day. It is due to various ailments and non-communicable diseases, the NATA head said.

"15.8% of the youth who are under 14-years of age have addicted to smoking. 32% of the smokers are males and 0.3% are females. 19.38% of people in the country consume alcohol while 40.8% of them are males and 0.26% are females," Dr. Rajapaksa said.

People who are addicted to smoking and indulged in consuming alcohol used to spend nearly Rs.1,000 million daily, NATA Chairman added. (Chaturanga Samarawickrma)

  Comments - 9

  • Samson Saturday, 20 February 2021 05:08 PM

    Good decision healthwise but not so good for health as people will resort to illicit booze and illicit cigs. Govt revenue will also decrease when more funds are required for govt expenditure.

    Shermal Fernando Saturday, 20 February 2021 05:14 PM

    This will only result in the black market flourishing While the intentions may be noble, those who are aware of the real "ground " situation will know that those who can't afford to buy a 20 pack will not stop smoking but will turn to some individual who sells them by the stick at an even higher price,,, same will apply in the case of alcohol ,,,apprehending an individual who sells the fags may be nigh impossible

    Vinodh Wickremeratne Saturday, 20 February 2021 05:35 PM

    Another National Hero!

    Joshua Saturday, 20 February 2021 05:54 PM

    Foolish....a person who wants to drink and smoke will continue to do it.

    Ronnie Bugger Saturday, 20 February 2021 07:56 PM

    The Country's economy is cracking up and badly so and here we have some joker trying to pour fuel to an already burning fire. He probably does not realize the taxes collected from the 'stick' and the 'karla'.

    vithura Saturday, 20 February 2021 07:59 PM

    It will serve as a boon to the grey marketeers!

    Sri Wickrema Saturday, 20 February 2021 08:10 PM

    Another blow to the poor.

    vini Saturday, 20 February 2021 09:58 PM

    A great idea. I can take a 180ml bottle to office in my brief case. One tot before lunch, one after, and one for the road.

    CharithD Sunday, 21 February 2021 11:12 AM

    Check your facts again, if 32% of the smokers are male

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