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‘Tobacco Smoking in Sri Lanka: Identifying and Understanding the Last Mile Smokers’



• Recommends targetted interventions to reduce smoking prevalence in Sri Lanka

• Advocates continued price increases through taxation as a key policy intervention

• Calls for a ban on sale of single-stick cigarettes to reduce smoking prevalence rate

Tobacco smoking is a dangerous epidemic claiming eight million lives globally1 and is currently the world’s single most significant cause of preventable death. In Sri Lanka, more than 20,000 people are killed every year as a result of tobacco-related diseases. Despite tobacco smoking rates declining over the years, it was still 28.4% among males above 15 years in 2018, indicating that more than one in four males still smoke.

Secondary data analysis shows that smoking prevalence is higher among certain groups. IPS’ latest publication ‘Tobacco Smoking in Sri Lanka: Identifying and Understanding the Last Mile Smokers’ focuses on these groups – referred to as ‘Last Mile Smokers’ (LMS) in the report. The report is based on a study that identifies LMS, examines reasons behind their smoking initiation and continuation, their efforts to quit smoking, and their awareness of the adverse effects of smoking. The challenge for Sri Lanka now is to ‘go the last mile’ and reduce smoking prevalence among LMS.

Findings and recommendations

The study finds that LMS initiated smoking mostly in their youth as they were curious to experiment with new things; were under peer pressure; and were stimulated by smokers in the family, community and celebrities. They continued to smoke because it had become a habit or addiction; perceived smoking as a remedy to overcome job monotony; lacked incentives and support channels to stop smoking; and lacked the self-control to stop smoking.

According to the study, LMS want to quit smoking and require support measures to help them do so. Most of them had made at least one attempt to quit because of health concerns, financial reasons, and commitments towards their families and children. Almost all smokers from different sectors were aware of the adverse health and economic impacts of smoking. However, many were unaware of its adverse impact on the environment, and the effects of second-hand and third-hand smoking

The study also finds that LMS are sensitive to price increases and that price plays a crucial role in shaping smoking patterns, both in relation to initiation and continuation. Further, due to price increases in recent times, many smokers have switched from buying an entire pack to buying single sticks. In fact, 70% of the LMS who participated in the study purchase single sticks.

The IPS report therefore recommends:

• Introducing targetted interventions that reach the LMS as they have specific needs and characteristics which are difficult to address through general interventions.

• Continuing price increases through tobacco taxation as a key policy intervention.

• Implementing the proposed ban on single stick cigarette sales without any further delay.

• Responding to unmet demand for smoking cessation through support programmes.

• Carrying out rigorous awareness campaigns that cover all aspects of adverse implications of tobacco smoking including effects of second-hand and third-hand smoking.

The report is authored by Sunimalee Madurawala, Chathurga Karunanayake and Chamini Thilanka. The study was funded by Cancer Research UK and field work was facilitated by the Alcohol and Drug Information Centre (ADIC).

Access the full report here:

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Dialog Smart Home Enables Seamless Home Automation via Range of Intuitive Solutions 



Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, introduced a range of convenient and integrated solutions via ‘Dialog Smart Home’ to enable intelligent automation and intuitive control of homes.

The newly introduced range of future-fit smart home solutions by Dialog Smart Home ranges from Home Automation, Home Security & Surveillance and Home Connectivity, and are designed to enable any home to work as one harmonious system where all elements work in tandem together to create a truly intelligent home.

The Home Automation solutions offer homeowners seamless and convenient control of their electronic appliances through their smartphones anytime, anywhere. With the Smart Touch Wall Switches, Smart Power Strips and Smart Fan Controllers, homeowners can take control of existing light bulbs, table fans, rice cookers, chargers, ceiling fans and more appliances. Additionally, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered TeDi Alexa Solution enables users to control connected smart devices including TVs, air conditioners, home security systems and more through voice commands.

Home Security & Surveillance solutions transform basic cameras into high-powered CCTV solutions. Baby and house monitoring smart cameras can be placed inside homes to keep a 360-degree eye on children and pets. The Indoor Security Camera has the ability to sound a siren and notify users if a stranger enters their home. Dialog Smart Home has also partnered with Singer to offer customers world-renowned Dahua CCTV solutions.

The Home Connectivity solutions offers consumers Wi-Fi extenders to facilitate uninterrupted internet connectivity across the house to fit the homeowner’s lifestyle and requirements.

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CBSL implements extraordinary measures to support banking sector



The Central Bank of Sri Lanka, considering the prevailing macroeconomic conditions and its impact on the banking sector, has decided to implement the following regulatory measures to support the banking sector to facilitate effective financial intermediation and the flow of credit to the economy, whilst ensuring the soundness of the banking sector.

• Sri Lankan banking sector maintains a Capital Conservation Buffer (CCB) of 2.5% to ensure that banks have an additional layer of usable capital that can be drawn down during stress times. An industry wide flexibility is granted for banks to drawdown the CCB (up to 2.5%), if needed, subject to restrictions on distribution to shareholders/ repatriation of profits and submission of a capital augmentation plan to rebuild CCB during a period up to three years.

• The current deadline for licensed banks to meet the enhanced minimum capital requirement (31.12.2022) is extended up to 31.12.2023. Licensed banks which are unable to meet the minimum capital requirement by 31.12.2022, need to submit their capital augmentation plan, including plans to consolidate or merge with suitable financial institutions, by 31.12.2022 and these licensed banks too shall refrain from distribution of dividends/ repatriation of profits until the minimum capital requirement is met.

• Licensed banks are encouraged to move to approaches such as The Standardised Approach (TSA) or alternative TSA for computation of risk weighted assets for operational risk for the purposes of computing the Capital Adequacy Ratio, subject to supervisory review.

• Licensed banks are given the flexibility to stagger the unrealised mark to market loss on Government Securities denominated in LKR on account of the recent interest rate hike for Capital Adequacy purposes until Q2 of 2024, subject to conditions.

• Licensed banks are granted flexibility on the treatment for Other Comprehensive Income (OCI) for Capital Adequacy purpose in line with the International Standards.

• The deadline for licensed banks to submit the document on Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (ICAAP) for 2022, to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka is extended by one month, until 30.06.2022.

• As a short-term measure to support licensed banks to adjust their liquidity profiles, licensed banks are provided with the flexibility to operate maintaining the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) and Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) not lower than 90% up to 30.09.2022. Furthermore, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, on 06 May 2022 decided to restrict certain discretionary payments of licensed banks, such as declaring cash dividends and repatriation of profits, until the financial statements for the year 2022 are audited by its External Auditor, engaging in share buy backs, increasing management allowances and payments to the Board of Directors until 31 December 2022 with a view to strengthening the liquidity and capital positions of licensed banks under these exceptional circumstances.

The above measures were introduced with the aim of providing the licensed banks with more flexibility and opportunities to operate in these challenging conditions and support economic recovery, while taking measures to improve their safety and soundness. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka will periodically review the implementation of these policy measures and expects licensed banks to avail these measures in the best interest of the customers and the economy at large, while supporting the banking sector to remain resilient.

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CEAT official tyre supplier for locally assembled Tata Ace HT 



CEAT Kelani Holdings has been appointed as the official tyre supplier for Tata Ace HT series compact trucks which are assembled in Sri Lanka by DIMO in collaboration with India’s largest automobile manufacturer TATA Motors.

 CEAT RHINO PLUS TL tyres in the size of 155R12 8PR, manufactured at the CEAT Kelani plant in Kelaniya are used for the TATA Ace HT series vehicles, popularly known in Sri Lanka as “DIMO Batta” under this project. The locally manufactured CEAT RHINO PLUS TL tyre features a zig zag pattern on its circumference and ribs with lateral notches that contribute towards uniformity and better wear and tear on local roads.

 Commenting on this latest OEM agreement of the company, CEAT Kelani Holdings Managing Director Mr. Ravi Dadlani said: “As a brand that has been at the forefront of local value addition in Sri Lanka, CEAT is excited to contribute further to the process through its association with this assembly operation. This is particularly relevant in the prevailing situation in the domestic market. We are able to provide high-quality tyres engineered for local conditions at competitive prices and ensure uninterrupted supply, while at the same time helping to conserve foreign exchange.”

In January this year, CEAT was appointed as an OEM for a range of heavy-duty trucks, tippers and light commercial vehicles assembled in Sri Lanka by Lanka Ashok Leyland PLC (LAL), a joint venture company of Ashok Leyland India. In November 2021 the brand was chosen as the OEM for Bolero City Pik-up vehicles assembled in Sri Lanka by Mahindra & Mahindra India in collaboration with Ideal Motors.

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