June 30, Colombo: The leading manufacturer of tobacco products in Sri Lanka, Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) said today that it will not implement pictorial health warnings on cigarette packets until the Supreme Court rules on its appeal.
The Supreme Court has rescheduled the hearings on the appeal filed by the CTC for 11 July 2014.
The CTC in a stock disclosure said today that it will continue to produce and supply cigarettes to the market in its current packaging until a further decision is made by the Supreme Court on July 11.
The CTC, the Sri Lankan subsidiary of British American Tobacco, filed an appeal in the Supreme Court last month against a lower court ruling that mandated the company to display pictorial warnings on its cigarette packets.
The lower court dismissed a writ application filed by CTC against government's legislation to include graphic warnings on smoking to cover 80 percent of the surface on cigarette packets but directed the Ministry of Health to amend the regulation by allocating a surface between 50% and 60% on the packets for health warnings.
The amended regulations, which include pictorial health warnings covering 60% of the front and back panels of the cigarette packs, were due to be implemented from 1 July 2014.
The Company said an undertaking was to the Supreme Court on behalf of the Minister of Health that the Regulations will not be implemented until 14 July 2014.
"As a responsible corporate citizen, CTC always supports balanced regulations and conducts all its business activities in compliance with all existing laws and regulations in the country," the CTC said in its disclosure.