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DateLine Tuesday, 11 September 2007

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Tobacco and Alcohol Act to be amended

COLOMBO: Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry has appointed a special committee under the Chairmanship of Prof.Carlo Fonseka to amend the Tobacco and Alcohol Control Act to implement the Act more effectively, Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry sources said.

The sources said the persons who smoke on public roads cannot be arrested under this act because in this Act roads are not included under `public places'. Therefore the authorities face difficulties when taking action against the persons smoking on roadsides.

Prof. Fonseka is the Chairman of the Tobacco and Alcohol Control Authority. The Ministry has also made arrangements to allocate more funds to control non communicable diseases such as diabetes and heart ailments which are on the rise.

According to the sources the ministry has planned to pay attention on public and curative care to prevent such diseases through awareness raising among the public. Such diseases should be prevented through change of certain negative food patterns.

It is revealed that although there was a significant control of smoking in public places soon after the introduction of the Act the situation has changed due to certain loopholes in the same Act.

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