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Cigarette smoking has declined following govt's initiatives: Rajitha

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Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Minister Rajitha Senaratne has observed that cigarette smoking in the country had dropped by one billion in 2017 due to the imposition of the 90 percent tax on tobacco by this government.

He was taking part in the Second Reading debate on the Active Liability Management Bill and debate on five orders under the Excise (Special Provisions) Act.

He stated that under the directives moved by the Finance Minister today, government has imposed a Rs 0.50 tax on each gram of sugar in sweetened drinks. This is commendable, since sweetened drinks include more than 6 grams of sugar contained in 100 ml of sweetened drinks. Generally a person should consume only 6 grams of sugar per day.

He went on that this measure was supportive for the control diabetes and heart diseases. These measures prevent the production of artificial toddy, which has a negative effect on the health of the consumer.

He explained that measures would be taken to reduce the use of oil and salt in the future. With the implementation of such measures, it would be easy to control noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, obesity, high blood pressure, etc. which are the country's leading causes for premature deaths.

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