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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2963

Never use smoking, alcohol or other drugs to deal with emotions

By Manjari Peiris
Colombo, 31 March, (

It is normal to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or angry during a crisis. But people should never use smoking, alcohol or other drugs to deal with emotions.

The public including the Government Medical Officers' Association and the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol made requests to His Excellency the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for closure of liquor shops to prevent people from consuming alcohol and to ensure that public discipline is maintained during this outbreak and in a period where continuous curfew is imposed.

I sincerely thank His Excellency the President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, for his deep commitment to protect the people of this country. I also thank the Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi and the Task Force to combat COVID - 19, the Government Medical Officers' Association and Dr. Samadhi Rajapaksa, the Chairman of the NATA for making their contribution and the prudent decision taken.

Meanwhile, the Head of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme held in February 2020 posited that smoking is a risk factor for the severity of any lower respiratory tract infection and the same would be expected in COVID 19, a respiratory disease. Having had identified smokers as a potential vulnerable group for COVID - 19, health experts have subsequently called for outright quitting of smoking in Indonesia (WHO), Israel (Israeli Medical Association for Smoking Cessation and Prevention), Japan (Tokyo Medical Association), Ireland (Health Service Executive), and South Africa (National Council Against Smoking (NCAS).

In Sri Lanka, 60 people die a day due to tobacco smoking associated disease.

Therefore I kindly ask His Excellency the President, to ban sale of cigarettes during this crucial period and help save Sri Lankans.

- Asian Tribune -

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