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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 74

Updated Guidelines For Selling Cigarettes and Alcohol

By Manjari Peiris
Colombo, 28 May, (

Under selected public activities and work settings for the prevention and control of COVID 19, the following are the instructions issued Dr. Anil Jasinghe, the Director General of Ministry of Health, for owners of outlets selling cigarettes and alcohol under - Updated guidelines issued by the Health Ministry for the public focused on the “new normal” with the country gradually resuming day-to-day activities.

Smoking - Smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to COVID 19 as the act of smoking means that fingers (and possibly contaminated cigarettes) are in contact with lips which increases the possibility of transmission of virus from hand to mouth. Smokers may already have lung disease or reduced lung capacity which would greatly increase risk of serious illness.

Conditions that increase oxygen needs or reduce the ability of the body to use it properly will put patients at higher risk of serious lung conditions such as pneumonia.

Alcohol - Alcohol reduces the immunity of the body and make people more vulnerable for COVID infection. Additionally, alcohol increases the occurrences of road traffic accidents, domestic violence and other violence behaviors. These will demand more hospital facilities depriving the others who need urgent medical care in a pandemic situation.

Both alcohol and smoking often involve the sharing of glasses, eating utensils and mouth pieces which could facilitate transmission of COVID - 19 in communal and social settings.

Bars, taverns, pubs, nightclubs, casinos, betting centres should adhere to the government rules and regulations during the COVID and non-COVID period.

Issuing specific messages to owners of such places, it says that alcohol and tobacco should be banned island wide until the country is declared free of the risk of COVID.

The production and sale of illicit alcohol and tobacco should be strictly monitored by Police and strict legal actions should be taken.

Films, tele dramas, songs that promote alcohol, tobacco should not be telecasted in media. The institutions and people who promote and sell alcohol and tobacco through social media and online platforms should be prosecuted under the NATA Act.

The owner should fill the provided Assurance form indicating the compliance with the instructions given. It should be submitted to the local authority and copy should be sent to the local Medical Officer of Health. The owner is responsible to ensure that these guidelines are strictly adhered to.

The client should avoid restaurants, pubs, groceries and supermarkets and refrain from displaying alcohol and tobacco products as these may remind the clients of their unhealthy behaviors.

Stay Safe, Stay at Home, Stay Informed, But Don't Forget to Wash Your Hands.

- Asian Tribune -

Updated Guidelines For Selling Cigarettes and Alcohol
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