Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka minister in hot water over herbal smoke promo

Legal action has been sought against Sri Lanka Minister Wimal Weerawansa for promoting smoking.

Sri Lanka’s Attorney General and Police have been requested to investigate and take appropriate action.

Minister Weerawansa had recently attended the launch of a locally manufactured cinnamon-based cigarette with ayurvedic components to the local market.

The National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) had thereafter warned that legal action is to be taken against the cinnamon-based cigarette brand which was promoted by Minister Weerawansa.

The Legal Head of NATA, Viraj Bandaranayake told reporters that launching the cigarette without obtaining approval from the necessary state institution was a violation of the law.

He said the Ayurveda Department and the Health Ministry have informed NATA that they had not granted approval for the cinnamon-based cigarette.

The “Lion Heart” cigarette, which is said to consist of other ayurvedic components, is manufactured by Samantha Punchihewa.

Speaking at the event, minister Weerawansa told the new cinnamon-based cigarette will help people addicted to other harmful cigarettes shift to a healthier product.

Although many State Institutions backed by other Companies are attempting to prevent the success of this new venture, he as the minister of Industries, would support and help promote the new cigarette launched by the local company, the minister said.

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