The Health Ministry has ordered the tobacco companies to print pictorial warnings on the cigarette packets from February 1.
Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) Unit of Ministry of Health has ordered that pictographic warnings against the danger of smoking must be printed on outer surface of cigarette packets starting from February 1st.
Legal action will be taken against the companies which fail to adhere to the rule of legislation, the government media said.
The Director of Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) Unit of Ministry of Health Dr. Thilak Siriwardena has stressed that the pictographic warnings must be printed on cigarette packets starting from February 1st, since the law was set to implement from January 1st, 2015.
All cigarette companies have been given a month time to sell their stocks which have already printed without pictographic warnings on cigarette packets, therefore manufactures must adhere to the rule of legislation once it is properly implemented, the Director told Lankapuvath National News Agency.
The Cabinet of Ministers Wednesday approved revising the legislation to require manufacturers to cover 80 percent of outside of cigarette packs with pictorial warnings. Earlier the court ordered to cover 60 percent of the surface of the packs.
The Cabinet of Ministers also approved increasing the current penalty of Rs. 2,000 and one year's imprisonment applicable in the event of failing to inform the consumers to a penalty of Rs. 50,000 and one year's imprisonment.