May 12, Colombo: A Sri Lankan court today dismissed a writ application filed by the country's leading manufacturer of tobacco products against the government's regulation to cover cigarette packs with pictorial warnings.
The Court of Appeal dismissed the petition filed by the Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) challenging the government's special gazette notification on August 08, 2012 requiring the manufacturer to cover 80 percent of the surface of the cigarette packet with graphic warnings.
However, the court has reduced the coverage to 50 - 60 percent of the packet with a pictorial health warning on cancer and other smoking-related ailments.
The parliament passed three regulations under the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol Act on February 19 this year to discourage the smoking. However, the implementation of the legislation was delayed due to the lawsuit.
The Health Ministry says that 60 to 65 people die daily due to illnesses related to smoking and 27 percent of its annual budget allocation has to be spent on the treatments for patients suffering from illnesses caused by tobacco use.