Nov 22, 2020

Request to print Covid-19 risk on cigarette packets

"Smoking increases the risk of Covid-19 infection" - to print on cigarette packets

Dr. Samadhi Rajapaksa, Chairman of the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol, told Sri Lanka Mirror that he plans to request tobacco companies to include the phrase "Smoking increases the risk of Covid-19 infection" on cigarette packets.

He said he has made arrangements to make this request publicly from tobacco companies.

He said he is making this proposal as medical experts, including the World Health Organization, have now confirmed that Covid-19 is a respiratory disease, and that research has shown that smoking causes lung failure and it increases the risk of contracting Covid-19.

He also said that  consumers have a right to be aware of this information and that he is the first person to submit this proposal to the cigarette manufacturers.

He  further stated below.

The National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) is a pioneering government agency established by the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol Act No. 27 of 2006.

The purpose of this establishment is to impose legal provisions for the prevention of the use alcohol and tobacco.

The World Health Organization's legal framework for tobacco control is the first Global Health Agreement, established in 2003 between countries in response to the globalization of the tobacco epidemic.

Sri Lanka has consistently focused on the issue of tobacco and alcohol, and was one of the first countries to sign the World Health Organization's framework on tobacco control.

Countries subject to the above agreement have a legal obligation to implement evidence-based tobacco control measures.