Written by Pavani Hapuarachchi
20 Feb, 2021 | 9:44 am
COLOMBO (News 1st): The government is exploring the possibility of imposing a ban on the retail sale of cigarettes and 180ml quarter bottles of liquor, the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) said.
The necessary laws and regulations in this regard are being drafted at present, Dr. Samadhi Rajapaksa, the Chairman of the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) told News 1st.
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.
Elaborating on the survey, Chairman of the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA), Dr. Samadhi Rajapaksa said, overall, 15.8 percent of those above the age of 14 in the country consume tobacco.
Of that, while 32 percent of the male population consume tobacco; of the female population the rate stands at 0.3 percent, he added.
“When considering alcohol, overall, 19.38 percent of those above the age of 14 in the country consume liquor; among males, 40.8 percent consume liquor, while 0.26 percent of females consume liquor,” NATA Chairman noted.
Close to 110 people die on a daily basis due to the consumption of tobacco and alcohol; the citizens in the country spend close to Rs. 1 billion on tobacco and liquor per day, Dr. Samadhi Rajapaksa reiterated.
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