June 01, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s cigarette production has slumped 15 percent over two decades to 4.27 billion sticks and 21 percent of the male population and 0.8 percent of the female population still smoked, a media report said. The Island newspaper quoted the Pubudu Sumanasekara, the Alcohol and Drug Information Centre (ADIC), an anti narcotics advocacy as saying that domestic cigarette production which was 4,600 million in 2007 had dropped 7.0 percent to 4,277 million in 2012.
It was not clear whether ‘beedi’, made by small industries and so-called ‘white cigarettes’ are also going down.
In the first quarter of 2012, Ceylon Tobacco Company had reported a further 15 percent drop in sales as the economy slowed following a balance of payments crisis.
Sri Lanka has brought laws outlawing mass media advertising and sports promotion of tobacco much earlier than many other Asian nations, when global tobacco firms shifted their focus to the region as laws began to bite in the West.
The Island quoted a doctor at Colombo Medical Facility Mahesh Rajasuriya as saying that the industry was finding ways to promote their products through point of sale advertising in shops (so-called below the line advertising) and packagi