Medical experts today urged the government to direct tobacco companies to introduce a pictorial warning label on all cigarette packs because in other countries such labels had proved to be more than 80 per cent effective in people giving up the smoking habit.
Sri Lanka was the first Asian country and the fourth nation in the world in 2005 to sign the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) warning people about the harmful impact of tobacco products.
“The most effective method of influencing smokers to stop the habit are pictorial warnings of an illness caused by the devastating effects of smoking cigarettes,” National Cancer Institute’s Dr. Samadhi Rajapaksa said when he addressed a workshop on the dangers of smoking cigarettes.
“Countries are expected to implement the FCTC within three years. But these regulations have still not been implemented by the government,” Dr. Rajapaksa said. He said the cost of implementing this regulation would be borne by tobacco companies and as such it would not be a burden on the government.
National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol Chairman Prof. Carlo Fonseka said President Mahinda Rajapaksa himself had said that by 2015 Sri Lanka would be made free of cigarette smoking and for this reason these regulations must be implemented.
“Some 350 people die each day due to smoking cigarettes. We can stop this by introducing pictorial warning labels which have proved to be successful in several countries such as Canada, Brazil, Turkey, Mauritius and other nations where smoking has reduced dramatically,” Dr. Rajapaksa said.
Calistus Jayatilleke Thursday, 18 August 2011 03:45 PM
This is a good idea and should be implemented immediately. But, the rule on blanking the TV screens when smoking or drinking is shown in movies is really a very stupid one evoking laughter on those who are forced to watch it.
PresiDunce Bean Thursday, 18 August 2011 01:22 AM
People who don't smoke also die.
mils Thursday, 18 August 2011 01:19 AM
We should do more to help people stop smoking.
Sitting Bull Thursday, 18 August 2011 02:48 AM
Good move. I have seen Thai cigarette packets carrying such pictures so sordid and frightening that even a regular chain smoker would have second thoughts! But fags being a huge revenue earner for the state, will the authorities go for it?
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