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