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Govt. to introduce standardised packaging for all tobacco products


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  • Products may contain only black and white, while all use of logos, colours, brand images or promotional information will be prohibited
  • Hopes to reduce tobacco consumption among adult males to 15% in the nextfour years 

The Government is to bring in new legislation to introduce standardised packaging for all tobacco products. 

The Cabinet of Ministers had given approval to the Cabinet proposal, submitted by Health and Indigenous Medicine Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne.Addressing the weekly post-Cabinet media briefing, co-Cabinet spokesman Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that the new legislation will be adopted with the intention of reducing the consumption of tobacco products in Sri Lanka. 

Accordingly, the regulations would prohibit the use of logos, colours, brand images or promotional information. The same pictorial warnings in use at present will remain, while 80% of the packaging would be only two colours or black and white. Nothing other than brand name, product name, quantity of the product, along with other Government mandated and prescribed information, will be allowed to be displayed. 

According to available statistics, tobacco consumption among adult males had decreased from 29% in 2011 to 24% in 2015. The Government’s objective is to reduce this 15% in the next four years, bringing down the number of tobacco-related deaths by 6000 annually. 

In addition, Minister Dr. Senaratne in his Cabinet proposal noted that he plans to bring in several more measures to reduce tobacco consumption as a next step, such as “the banning of single stick sale of cigarettes, a rational taxation formula and the introduction of a more rational licensing regime for marketing and sale of cigarettes.” (SG)

 


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