People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
- March 5, 2012
A two-day media training programme on reporting about tobacco control was held recently in Sri Lanka.
Organised by Jeewaka Foundation in collaboration with the National Authority on Tobacco & Alcohol (NATA) at the Sri Lanka Press Institute, Colombo, the training touched on a number of topics:
- What Editors Look for in a good story: How to sell a story on Tobacco Control
- The role of media and tobacco control: a medical perspective
- Media advocacy and tobacco control issues in Sri Lanka - how to interest editors and policy makers
- Facets of Good Journalism
- Contribution of smoking towards cancer
- FCTC implementation and Pack Warnings - Sri Lanka's status
- Government commitment to implementation of pack warnings and amendments to the tobacco control law.
Deputy Health Minister Lalith Dissanayak told the workshop that proposed legislation aimed at reducing smoking is due to take effect within six months.
"Medical experts made this suggestion, but we couldn't implement it at that time. However steps are now taken to expedite this process as well as prohibition of smoking at all public places." he said.
Dr. Samadhi Rajapaksa, of Jeewaka Foundation, highlighted the importance of introducing the regulation on pictorial health warnings on cigarette packages.
"Over 20,000 people die annually from tobacco related diseases in Sri Lanka. We can stop this by introducing pictorial warning labels, which have proved to be successful in several countries such as Canada, Australia, Brazil, Turkey, Uruguay, Mauritius and other nations where smoking has declined dramatically," Rajapaksa said.