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* Sri Lanka tobacco company to market cigarette packs without graphic warning until court's decision
Sat, Feb 22, 2014, 01:38 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 21, Colombo: Sri Lanka's major cigarette producer, Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) said the company is not required to comply with the regulations passed in parliament to have pictorial warnings on the cigarette packets.

Sri Lanka's parliament Wednesday (February 19) unanimously passed three regulations under the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol Act making it compulsory for cigarette companies to place graphic warnings on cigarette packs that will cover 80 percent of the display area.

The CTC Friday said in a stock market disclosure that the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol Act requires the Minister to table any regulations he makes under the Act before parliament after 30 days from publication in Gazette as a procedural step.

The company has challenged the regulations in the Court of Appeal. The hearing has been concluded and the Court of Appeal has now reserved its final judgment for 12 May 2014.

Implementation of the Regulations has been stayed pursuant to an interim order issued by the Supreme Court on 20 September 2013, the CTC said.

"We confirm that the interim order issued by the Supreme Court will remain in force and approval of the Regulations will not prevent Court of Appeal determining the validity of the Regulations on legal arguments," the CTC said in the disclosure.

The company said therefore, it is not required to comply with the Regulations at this stage until a decision is made by the court.

"CTC will continue to produce and supply cigarettes to the market as usual without any changes to its current packs," the CTC said.

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