Tobacco cultivation to be banned by 2020


Tobacco cultivation will be banned by 2020, Health and Indigenous Medicine Minister Rajitha Senaratne said today.

He said this while responding to a question by UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana in Parliament.

The Minister, observing that about 30,000 persons are currently involved in tobacco cultivation, said a programme is in place to introduce alternate crops to cultivators. 

He said the sale of cigarettes within a 500 metre radius of schools will also be banned, adding that the Cabinet approved the proposal in this regard recently.

He added that the sale of single stick of cigarette would also be banned shortly, adding that this proposal also received the Cabinet approval. 

“Thereafter if anybody wants to buy a cigarette, he should buy a carton. Plain packing will also be introduced in the near future. All these steps are intended to discourage smoking. Sri Lanka received the accolades of the World Health Organization for strict action taken by the Government to discourage smoking,” he said.

The Health Minister added that tobacco and liquor companies are not allowed to carry out Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects as per the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) Act.

However, he pointed out steps to discourage liquor consumption should be initiated by the Finance Ministry, as it falls under the Finance Ministry’s purview.      

There are 3 Comments

I know that tobacco is bad for you and the controls in place are taking effect, but banning the whole industry is foolish. There are thousands employed in them and there's also the export to consider. This is an unnecessary knee-jerk reaction.

So we are going to ban this as well (its OK by me as I dont smoke!) BUT then what? Tobacco was a thriving industry and we exported a large volume. So WHAT do we grow in its place and who will do that and what happens to the tobacco cultivators??!!

Sri Lanka has many things to ban before tobacco. One is illicit drugs and the other is people's reps ripping people's money. There is no law and order in the country. Country is run by an incompetent bunch of people since the independence. I


Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Or log in with...