Government to tighten current alcohol and tobacco control laws

Government to tighten current alcohol and tobacco control laws

21 February 2021 04:15 pm

Government is to tighten current alcohol and tobacco control laws with the aim of banning Liquor quarter bottles and the sale of single stick cigarettes.  

The National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) Chairman, Dr. Samadhi Rajapaksa announced the plans to ban these tiny alcohol bottles and the retail sale of cigarettes other than packets of cigarettes. 

He noted that amendments are now being drafted to ban 180 ml bottles of alcohol locally called quarter bottles.    

Dr. Rajapaksa also noted some other actions the NATA plans to take such as banning single stick cigarettes, enforcing the current alcohol and tobacco control laws more stringently, changing existing laws to empower the legal framework to curtail alcohol and tobacco use.

It will introduce new policies and enhancing powers vested in Medical Officers of Health, Assistant Medical Officers of Health and Customs officers to make their services for alcohol and tobacco prevention more effective.

Dr. Rajapaksa said that alcohol consumption is rising as these tiny bottles of alcohol have begun to sell more. The NATA chairman also emphasized that alcohol and tobacco taxation must be increased to reduce the consumption of these harmful products.

Dr. Rajapaksa said that alcohol consumption is rising as these tiny bottles of alcohol have begun to sell more. The NATA chairman also emphasized that alcohol and tobacco taxation must be increased to reduce the consumption of these harmful products.

According to Dr. Rajapaksa, due to the increased rate of the buying capacity given the retail sale, smokers are able to purchase cigarettes constantly.

“By drafting regulations to ban the retail sale of cigarettes those who cannot quit the habit of smoking will be compelled to purchase a full packet of cigarettes, which will contain 20 per pack. 

Thereby, buying capacity will reduce; meaning, the tendency for smoking in the country could be brought down drastically by imposing a ban on retail sale of cigarettes,” Dr. Rajapaksa elaborated. Based on a survey, it has been revealed that on average 60 deaths are reported daily in Sri Lanka, due to the consumption of tobacco.The survey, conducted by the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol, also found that on average 50-55 deaths are reported daily, due to the consumption of liquor.