Tobacco kills 20,000 Sri Lankans every year: official

Pictorial warning law on cigarette packs

Around 20,000 Sri Lankans die every year due to the diseases caused by the use of tobacco, an official here said on Tuesday.

Chairman of Sri Lanka’s National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA), Palitha Abeykoon told reporters here in Colombo that his office had taken various measures to discourage people from the use of tobacco products as a result.

He said further steps would be taken for the same purpose in coincidence with the World No Tobacco Day on May 31 as declared by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Abeykoon said the NATA requested all Sri Lankans not to use tobacco on May 31, as a step in making Sri Lanka a tobacco-free country in the future.

He said the tobacco use was also a major cause of heart diseases in Sri Lanka.