Cigarettes to be banned by 2020


President Maithripala Sirisena has taken a decision to ban importation of cigarettes and tobacco to Sri Lanka 2020 onwards. As doctors we admire this decision a lot, Health Services Director General Dr. Palitha Mahipala stated.

According to Dr. Mahiapala, with the rapid increase of patients with NCDs, providing more and more facilities to treat these patients is similar to filling water to a tank with a hole at the bottom. There is no end for both processes. Therefore we need to take stern action to prevent the use of tobacco (smoking), alcohol and drugs. We need to educate the people and raise awareness among them in order to make them refrain from smoking and drinking alcohol.

Dr. Mahiapala pointed out that according to the latest findings, it has been discovered that the use of Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) has already gone down significantly in Sri Lanka.
Arrangements are now being made to remove MSG from the market. In addition to the introduction of special permits to import MSG, the Health Ministry will introduce new rules, regulations and laws to limit the importation and use of MSG.

The relevant gazette notification in connection with introducing the red label for beverages with excessive sugar content will be released shortly after obtaining the signature of the Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne. It will take another few days to do so. After issuing the gazette notification, the manufacturers/importers should display the red label if the sugar content of the drink is over 10 grams per 100 milliliters, he added.

(Source: Daily News – By Nadira Gunatileke)