Sept 12, Colombo: The four Buddhist Chief Prelates (Mahanayake theros) in Sri Lanka have called on the government to introduce regulations to place anti-tobacco warnings in cigarette packets.
Issuing a statement, the prelates have said that the relevant multinational companies were resorting to various methods to delay placing the anti-tobacco warnings on their products.
"There's an urgent need to implement the tobacco control legislation by getting the gazette on the pictorial warning passed immediately," the Malwatte Chapter Mahanayake, the Most Venerable Thibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thero said in the statement.
The Asgiriya Chapter Mahanayake Thera, the Most Venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkhitha Thero has said, "The accelerated development projects launched by the President would only become meaningful if the citizens in the country remained healthy. As such it is imperative that the government urged the companies to display the required pictorial warnings immediately."
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently honored Sri Lanka's Health Minister with the World No Tobacco Day Award 2013 for his role in implementation of Article 11 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on packaging and labeling of tobacco products.
The Minister under the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol Authority Act has brought regulation requiring the tobacco companies to label cigarette packets with graphic images of diseases caused by smoking.