‘Only price increase can control tobacco usage’ | Daily News

‘Only price increase can control tobacco usage’

The price of the single stick of cigarette should have gone up above Rs.128 by September this year if the price formula introduced by the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) was implemented, said NATA Chairman Dr. Samadhi Rajapaksa.

According to him, the formula is aimed at increasing the price of each category of cigarette on an annual basis thus decreasing the consumers’ buying capacity.

There are four categories of cigarettes based on the length of sticks available in Sri Lanka. They are the sticks shorter than 60mm, sticks between 60mm and 71mm long, sticks between 72mm and 74mm long and sticks between 75mm and 84 mm long.

The government increased the price of these cigarettes by Rs.3, Rs.5, Rs.10 and Rs.15 with effect from September 1.

Dr. Rajapaksa said if the price formula was in effect, the price of a cigarette which was Rs.75 earlier should have been increased to Rs.128 by the end of August this year and with the price increase imposed on September 1, price should have gone up further.

“According to the ‘MPOWER’ initiative of the World Health Organization, the single-most effective measure of controlling tobacco usage is increasing the price,” he said.

Although the price formula has not come into effect yet in Sri Lanka, the NATA is satisfied with the recent price hike, he further said.

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