Sri Lanka, WHO to establish smoke-free zones

Sri Lanka’s National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA), in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO), is planning to set up 362 smoke-free zones in the country.

NATA said on Monday that the move is aimed at protecting the public from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke.NATA Chairman Samadhi Rajapaksa said exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke was a serious threat to the health as it causes death and disease in non-smoking adults and children.

Rajapaksa said that half of children are regularly exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke in public settings and therefore, eliminating smoking at all homes, work sites and public places is needed.In spite of multiple measures by successive governments to bring down tobacco smoking prevalence in Sri Lanka, the presence of tobacco is still high among certain groups, according to a report. (Xinhua/NAN)