The National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) will initiate legal action against a newly launched cinnamon based cigarette brand which was promoted by Minister Wimal Weerawansa.
The Legal Head of NATA, Viraj Bandaranayake said the cigarette had been launched without obtaining the necessary approvals which was a violation of the law and the Ayurveda Department and the Health Ministry had informed NATA that they had not granted approval for the cinnamon-based cigarette.
Bandaranayake said a public survey on the cigarette had not been conducted and a report in this regard had not been submitted to NATA, and therefore the company did not had the power to release the product to the local market.
"The cigarettes have been manufactured despite NATA providing a written request to refrain from commencing the manufacture and distribution of the product. The company had disregarded the order and had continued to manufacture the cigarette, paving the way for other such products to also enter the local market," Bandaranayake said.
The ‘Lion heart’ cinnamon-based cigarette was launched to the public by Minister of Industries Wimal Weerawansa on Wednesday, in a media briefing where he said that despite attempts by various institutions to prevent the manufacturing of the cinnamon-based cigarettes, he will provide his support for the product as the Minister of Industries. (Indika Sri Aravinda)