July 11, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Supreme Court today ordered the leading manufacturer of tobacco products in Sri Lanka, Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) to include pictorial health warnings covering 60 percent of the front and back panels of the cigarette packs released to the market from January 01, 2015.
A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Mohan Peiris, Justice Rohini Marasinghe and Justice Sisira J. De Abrew delivered the verdict when it heard the appeal filed by the CTC 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% 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 CTC, the Sri Lankan subsidiary of British American Tobacco, earlier this month said 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.