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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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Oil prices rise as Saudi Arabia pledges output cuts – Opec+




(picture BBC)

Oil-producing countries have agreed to continued cuts in production in a bid to shore up flagging prices.

Saudi Arabia said it would make cuts of a million barrels per day (bpd) in July and Opec+ said targets would drop by a further 1.4 million bpd from 2024.

Opec+ accounts for around 40% of the world’s crude oil and its decisions can have a major impact on oil prices.

In Asia trade on Monday, Brent crude oil rose by as much as 2.4% before settling at around $77 a barrel.

The seven hour-long meeting on Sunday of the oil-rich nations, led by Russia, came against a backdrop of falling energy prices.

Total production cuts, which Opec+ has undertaken since October 2022, reached 3.66 million bpd, according to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.

Opec+, a formulation which refers to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, had already agreed to cut production by two million bpd, about 2% of global demand.


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Manpower services agency wins accolades for its contribution to foreign employment sector



Siraj Cafoor, Managing Director of Siraj Manpower Services receives the award

Its MD says. ‘go abroad only if you can work hard’

Siraj Manpower Services, one of Sri Lanka’s leading foreign employment agencies, was honoured with the Three-Star Award at the ‘Golden Awards’ 2023, organised by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE). This award ceremony was organised to honour foreign employment agencies that have made a significant contribution to the development of the foreign employment sector, which is a major source of foreign exchange for Sri Lanka. Siraj Cafoor, Managing Director of Siraj Manpower Services, was presented with the award at the award ceremony which was held at the BMICH in Colombo under the patronage of Minister of Foreign Employment and Labour Manusha Nanayakkara.

Having been established in 2002, Siraj Manpower Services ( has earned a reputation in the field of foreign employment by winning the trust of customers for more than 20 years. It has been offering job opportunities in the Middle East countries such as Kuwait, Qatar, Dubai and Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia as housekeepers, drivers, sanitation workers, labourers and also jobs related to the apparel industry. All these workers are entitled to approved salary scales certified by the SLBFE.

“We always stand for the safety of workers who go abroad through our organisation. We work to solve the problems that arise in relation to the contracts that the workers have entered into. I must mention something special to those who go abroad for employment. That is, you should keep in mind that you go abroad only to work. Go abroad only if you can work hard. You have to remember that you are going abroad to earn some more money and achieve the advancement of your family.” said Siraj Cafoor.

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Direct flights between Istanbul and Katunayake to commence from August



A special discussion between Turkish Ambassador – Demet Sekercioglu and Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation – Nimal Siripala de Silva took place last week at the ministry office. The aim of the discussion was to seek authorization to commence direct flights from the Turkish Capital Istanbul to Katunayake, Sri Lanka. The Chief of Turkish Airlines’ South Asia Office Fathi Bozkurt was also present during the discussion.

Currently, Turkish Airlines connects with Sri Lanka through a route that includes a stopover in the Maldives, resulting in an additional travel time of one and a half hours. The delay caused by this routing is not favored by travelers, as emphasized by the Ambassador.

The Chief of Turkish Airlines requested for time and space to be allocated in order to initiate direct flights between Istanbul and Katunaike, thus providing convenience for Turkish tourists and travelers who prefer visit Sri Lanka.

The Minister announced that the request would be forwarded to the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka and the Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited. The aim is to establish direct flights between Istanbul and Katunayake starting from August this year.

Turkish Airlines, a renowned airline with a fleet of over 100 aircraft, offers flights connecting Europe’s Vancouver and New York. The Chief of Turkish Airlines said that the new service would not only benefit European travelers but also encourage them to travel to Sri Lanka.

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