Regarding the Regulation No 01 of 2016 on Prohibited Tobacco Products
There is an increasing trend in the use of Smokeless Tobacco (ST) among the younger generation in Sri Lanka during the last ten years. Mawa, Babul and other similar imported Smokeless Tobacco products are being sold in the market surreptitiously, at affordable rates. It has been revealed in a recent survey that there are attempts to specifically target school children and the younger generation for these uses. The consumption of these products causes many major health problems, particularly oral cancer, cancer in the oesophagus stomach and mental health. According to the health ministry reports there is an increasing trend in the incidence of oral cancer in the younger generation and these could be directly attributable to smoking and the use of Smokeless Tobacco.
Although police officers, public health inspectors, excise officers have been diligently conducting searches and raids regularly against the vendors and producers of these products, their efforts have not been completely successful due to the lack of adequate legal provisions for this purpose.
It is also been observed that Smokeless Tobacco Products have been flowing into Sri Lanka from neighbouring countries, as Smokeless Tobacco products are now prohibited in most of these countries.
Due to these reasons the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol and it's Subcommittee on Smokeless Tobacco had conducted various surveys, inspections and had consultation with officials of judiciary, police, customs, excise, and experts in this field and made recommendations to the Hon Minister of Health, regarding the need for additional legal provisions to prohibit Smokeless Tobacco. In order to support the programme the Regulations on Prohibited Tobacco Products were gazetted on 01st Sep 2016.
According to these regulations no person shall manufacture, import, sell or offer for sale, any Smokeless Tobacco product or mixture or any flavoured, coloured or sweetened cigarette or electronic cigarette that contains tobacco.
The main objective of these Regulations is to provide the legal background to prohibit the manufacture, import, sell or offer for sale of various items named as Mawa, Babul etc, which are manufactured with various poisonous and harmful ingredients and protect generations of school children and youth, who are being swayed and induced to consume these addictive substances. This regulation has not been intended to have any effect on the traditional betel quid.
NATIONAL AUTHORITY ON TOBACCO AND ALCOHOL