National Authority of Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) Chairman Dr. Samadhi Rajapaksa said his institution has sought clarification from the Attorney General’s Department with regards to the ‘Ayurvedic Cinnamon Cigarette’ that is being manufactured and promoted in Sri Lanka.
Addressing a media briefing yesterday in Colombo, Dr. Rajapakse noted such a product violates the existing law and would serve to promote the smoking habit in the country, which is harmful to public health and contradicts with the government’s policy to eradicate smoking from the country.
Several government health institutions and professional bodies joined the discussion yesterday, to express their concern at the purported product, while the Excise Department and Ayurveda Department rejected the claims they provided the approval and for the use of the term ‘ayurveda’. Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) Secretary Dr. Harith Aluthge said his organisation has written to the Health Minister to clarify its position on this matter, as it concerns the policy position of the Health Ministry. Also present at the occasion was Government Ayurvedic Doctors Association Chairman Dr. Prasad Hendawitharana, who added there is no concept of ayruvedic cigarettes in traditional medicine, nor has any approval been obtained.
Sri Lanka Medical Association President Dr. Padma Gunarathna, Health Ministry Director Mental Health Dr. Rohan Rathnayake, National Hospital Resident Consultant Respiratory Medicine Dr. Geethal Perera, the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board, ADIC, WHO Sri Lanka and other agencies joined the discussion to reject the move to manufacture and promote cinnamon cigarettes and smoking in Sri Lanka.