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Government Gazette

Smokers, boozers decline after new Act

COLOMBO: According to the statistics given by the Excise Department and police reports, smoking has gone down by 70 percent while the use of alcohol has gone down by 30 percent after the implementation of new Tobacco and Alcohol Control Authority Act which came into force by December 1, this year, according to Health Care and Nutrition Ministry sources.

Sources said that Health Care and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has received several telephone calls from beer companies stating that their business has gone down by 30 percent. They had made a request from him to amend the act in order to restore their business.

Minister de Silva has told them that under `Mahinda Chinthanaya' the Government is aimed at putting a full stop to drugs and alcohol and therefore no amendment or any change will be made to the Tobacco and Alcohol Control Act but implement it as strictly as possible, the sources added.

The Ministry requests the public to inform the Excise Department or the nearest police station immediately if they notice any tobacco or alcohol advertisements.

Alcohol and smoking is prohibited in public places under the new act and persons who violate this can be imprisoned for a period not less than two years or imposed a fine of Rs. 5000 or both.

During the past twenty days about 5000 persons who had violated the act have been taken into custody by the police.

About 12 percent of the Government's income comes from the taxes imposed on tobacco and alcohol but the Government spends about 22 percent of the total expenditure treating people who fall sick due to the use of tobacco and alcohol.

The majority of the persons who are addicted to alcohol are in the workforce of the country and smoking and alcohol promote infections.

 

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