Imports rejected

Sri Lankan Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said he will not allow the import of foreign cigarettes into the country, reports Daily FT.

Senaratne said that allowing imports for the benefit of one expatriate community would serve as a precursor to enabling imports from other countries, which would undermine and destabilize the efforts taken to control cigarette smoking in the country.

Senaratne’s statement comes after Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera announced two weeks ago that the government was considering allowing cigarette imports, in order to meet demands of expatriate workers in the country.

The World Health Organization praised efforts taken by the Sri Lankan government, and identified the country as a leading nation in the effort to ban tobacco use.