Pictorial warnings also to be included on alternative products like cigars – Director General of Health Services
We have included pictorial warnings in cigarette packets with the intention of reducing smoking, which is the major cause of several diseases. This was also recommended by World Health Organization. Hon. Dr. Rajitha Senarathne, Minister of Health Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine is taking a step by step approach to reduce smoking in Sri Lanka. But, there are no pictorial warnings in packets of cigars, yet. Dr. Palitha Mahipala, Director General of Health Services stated that it is intended to include pictorial warnings in the packets of cigars as similar to cigarettes.
With the recommendation of His Excellency the President and the Hon. Minister of Health, the taxation percentage on tobacco products have been increased to 90 percent. Today, the cost of a cigarette is increased up to rupees 50. We are expecting to reduce the number of smokers from about 4-5 percent by this increase in the prices, Director General of Health Services further stated.