The National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol has present several proposals with regard to the control of tobacco use for Cabinet approval.
The first includes putting a stop to the sale of loose cigarettes (a single stick). This would result in smokers having to purchase a pack or cigarette companies having to produce smaller packs. The second involves the introduction of plain packaging sans decoration.
The third involves the introduction of a licensing scheme whereby businesses involving cigarettes located within 500 metres radius of a school would not be able to obtain a license for any related purpose.
With the budget for the year 2018 around the corner, Chairman of the Authority, Dr. Palitha Abeykoon also added that they had proposed a formula for taxation of tobacco which would make allowances for fluctuations in inflation and growth in per capita income, at least once a year.
“Current taxation on tobacco is at 75%. A formula would seek to regulate taxation in this regard as otherwise what we have is an ad-hoc system and mechanism of taxation. Taxation on tobacco must keep pace with the rate of inflation and growth in per capita income, the latter which is 4%. If not taxed on the basis of these two criteria and aspects, this affects affordability, making it more affordable, thereby easier to purchase cigarettes, which we want to halt,” he further said.