Deaths due to tobacco consumption rate the highest among preventable deaths in Sri Lanka, according to Consultant Chest Physician Dr.Amitha Fernando of the Central Chest Clinic at the National Hospital in Colombo.
“In a developing country such as Sri Lanka much of the country’s revenue is spent treating the sickness caused by smoking which one could use more productively for vital infrastructure development,” Dr Fernando said.
The news comes as Sri Lanka will join the world in marking World Anti-Tobacco Day which falls tomorrow.
In the Global Youth Survey in which Sri Lanka also took part in 1999 , 2,896 children between the ages of 13 and 15 from 84 schools were surveyed and of these 12 per cent had smoked during the 30 days prior to the survey.
Of these, ten per cent had bought cigarettes from a shop and smoked them. 56 per cent of the children surveyed had been exposed to smoking at home, according to Dr.Fernando.