Twenty Sri Lankans die everyday due to smoking

(May 26, 2011,  Lanka PolityThe Chairman of Sri Lanka Tobacco and Alcohol Authority Prof. Carlo Fonseka says that 60 Sri Lankans die everyday due to illnesses caused by smoking.

Citing the latest research reports, the medical professor said that every year 20,000 persons die due to excessive smoking.

The professor accused that the tobacco companies have programmes to make the people addicted to nicotine in tobacco since very young ages.

The authority has planned programmes to prevent people from smoking to mark the World Anti-Smoking Day that falls on May 31.

Under the Mahinda Chinthana policy of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, publicity on smoking has been banned in Sri Lanka. Selling cigarettes to under aged and smoking in public places have also been banned. Government has imposed heavy taxes on tobacco and that income is one of the most lucrative sources of income of the government.

However, not only the official reports, but also the public observances show that there is a trend of decline in smoking in Sri Lanka. The government can spend the tax money for education on smoking and also to create alternate activities for the people to engage.

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