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The case for banning single stick cigarettes: Options for effective implementation



New IPS Policy Discussion Brief –

A new IPS study finds that a ban on single stick cigarettes would significantly reduce smoking prevalence in Sri Lanka as it will likely minimise smoking amongst minors, lower income groups and the remaining groups of smokers (‘last mile’ smokers) in the country.

107 countries, including several Asian countries, have already taken steps to ban single stick sales.

The study recommends amending Sri Lanka’s current tobacco legislation as the most appropriate legislative approach to banning single stick sales.

Effective implementation and monitoring are crucial for ensuring compliance and effectiveness of any single stick sales ban.

A new study conducted by the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS) calls for a ban on single stick cigarettes to reduce tobacco consumption in the country. The study notes that despite Sri Lanka’s progress in implementing most of the tobacco control measures, there are some critical demand and supply reduction measures that Sri Lanka has not introduced yet. One such important measure is banning the sale of single stick cigarettes. In this regard, the study recommends that the most appropriate legislative approach for Sri Lanka is to amend the country’s current tobacco legislation or the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) Act.

The study titled ‘The Case for Banning Single Stick Cigarettes: Options for Effective Implementation’ is authored by Dilani Hirimuthugodage and Nimesha Dissanayaka. The authors examine the behaviour of smokers in purchasing single sticks and identify enforcement options for banning sales of single stick cigarettes, using a mix of key informant interviews, non-participatory observational surveys, and selected case studies (Thailand, Norway, Pakistan, India and Mexico). The overarching objective of the study is to strengthen the evidence on the likely impact and effective implementation of the proposed single stick ban.

The authors find that the implementation of the ban on single stick cigarettes would have a significant impact on reducing smoking prevalence in Sri Lanka as it will likely reduce smoking amongst minors, lower income groups and the ‘last mile’ of smokers in the country. Around the world, 107 countries, including Asian countries, have already taken several steps to ban single stick cigarette sales. The most common policy adopted was to have specific laws or legislations to ban the selling of single stick cigarettes. The case study analysis suggests that effective implementation and monitoring are important to ensure the success of, and compliance with, any ban on single stick sales.

The following policy reforms are recommended based on the study findings:

Legislative approach: Comparative research shows a range of approaches to banning the sale of single sticks (e.g., a specific ban on single sticks; minimum pack size; requirement that pictorial warnings are included on all sales, etc.). The evidence suggests that the effective approach for Sri Lanka could be introducing an amendment to the country’s current tobacco policy or the NATA Act.

Supplementary reform: Alongside a ban on single stick sales, the study recommends that the government effectively implements existing laws banning all forms of tobacco promotion, advertising, and sponsorship related to cigarettes. For example, single sticks should not be allowed to be distributed for free at events or concerts, and shops should not display adverts promoting single sticks.

Compliance/enforcement: If a legal ban is to successfully reduce tobacco consumption , it must be effectively implemented. Recognising the current widespread practice of selling single sticks, and the financial benefits (via commission) for retailers, it will be essential to ensure retailers are fully aware of the ban and policymakers should consider high penalties to deter non-compliance. In addition, Public Health Inspectors should be empowered to monitor the ban to reduce the risk of a black market emerging.

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Exterminators PLC certified as great place to work



Travis Ferreira, Executive Director, ‘Extermina tors PLC’, receiving the certificate from the GPTW team

Exterminators PLC announces that it has been certified as a Great Place to Work for the second year in a row. This achievement reaffirms our commitment to creating an environment that fosters learning, development, and success for our staff members. The certification was awarded after an independent audit and certification process conducted by the renowned organisation Great Place to Work (GPTW), which evaluated our company across various focus areas. Exterminators PLC excelled in the Trust Index, scoring high points in all focus areas during the certification process.

“The challenges we faced over the past twelve months were unprecedented. We are proud of our coworkers, who kept our business operating without interruption by working collaboratively and courageously and leaning on our collective creativity, innovation, and passion. Our slogan was ‘How can we’ keep the promise we made? and we constantly innovated to get the job done, no matter how difficult it was.

We are grateful to our coworkers who collaborated with us during these most challenging times and for their pure commitment and loyalty towards Exterminators PLC, which kept us moving forward despite unprecedented obstacles.” Marlon Ferreira the Managing Director said.

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SLT-MOBITEL mTunes introduces ‘Be a Millionaire’ promo



Bringing elevated lifestyle experiences, SLT-MOBITEL is offering users the ultimate chance to turn music into wealth with its new ‘Be a Millionaire’ promo on mTunes.mTunes is a digital lifestyle service that allows customers to personalise their Caller Ring Back Tone (CRBT) with their favourite songs or audio content. It adds a unique and personalised touch to phone calls, allowing customers to express their originality and preferences with their loved ones.

With a vast collection of songs on the mTunes platform, the ‘Be a Millionaire’ promo offers users the opportunity to connect with their hearts’ content and win big cash prizes. From September 1st to November 30th, 2023, the ‘Be a Millionaire’ promo on mTunes promises incredible prizes for lucky participants. The grand prize is an amazing Rupees One million (Rs. 1,000,000) with additional rewards of Rs. 100,000 for the second winner and Rs. 50,000 for the third place. But the path to wealth does not end; seven more lucky winners will receive Rs. 10,000 each, and every week, there will be twelve lucky winners of Rs. 10,000 each in cash prizes.

Participating in the promotion is easy. Existing and new CRBT users have the chance to win these fantastic prizes, including becoming millionaires, by simply activating more mTunes during the promotional period. With multiple cash prizes available, there are numerous opportunities to win every week. The ‘Be a Millionaire’ promotion is a golden opportunity to make dreams come true.

Users can increase their chances of winning by simply activating more mTunes daily. Users can also experience the fun, excitement, and entertainment offered by mTunes and enjoy the world of music.

For more information, contact mTunes at 777 or visit

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Lanka can build strong tourism ‘eco-brand’: UN official



United Nations Resident Representative to Sri Lanka, Azusa Kobota


ECONOMYNEXT –Sri Lanka can build an ‘eco-brand’ catering especially to younger tourists who feel strongly about the environment, United Nations Resident Representative to Sri Lanka, Azusa Kobota said.

About 70 percent of global travellers prioritise sustainability in their holiday choices, marking a ten percent increase from 2021, while around 30 percent of travellers feel guilty about flying, due to carbon emissions, she said.

“As the world embraces green thinking during this time of economic recovery efforts, the objective of the tourism sector cannot simply be about increasing the number of inbound tourists,” Kobota said at an event marking World Tourism Day in Colombo.

“It has to be about enhancing their experience through green lenses, by implementing a responsible, eco-conscious paradigm for the sector and building a stronger eco-brand around the sustainable agenda for Sri Lanka,”

“This is no longer about reducing the trade offs between growing the industry and protecting the environment.

“We must see nature as our asset and solutions to be obtained for the exponential growth for our future generations.”

The sustainable tourism market is estimated to have earned 195 billion US dollars in 2022, and is expected to reach about 656 billion US dollars in 2032, she said.

“Tourists, particularly the younger generations from gen X,Y,Z are deeply, deeply conscious about the long term choices of their actions, and the adverse impact of tourists on the environment.

“Statistics show that a significant proportion of global travellers, about 30 percent, feel guilty about flying due to the environmental impact and 22 percent say they actively prefer public transport and bicycle rental options, over renting a car.”

Sri Lanka welcomed one million tourists by September 26 and is expecting more that 1.5 million tourists by the end of the year.

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