The National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) urged the complete ban on pocket size quarter liquor bottles, saying a growing public opinion points out the item is causing major health and environmental hazards.
Chairman NATA Dr. Samadhi Rajapaksa said a recent study carried out by them by using representatives of sections of the society had proved that over 72.4% of the latter had asked to ban the production of pocket size liquor bottles.
The research had been conducted with the involvement of 1, 000 individuals representing three age groups deployed as 40% members from 17 – 30 years of age group, 35% from 31 – 45 age group and 25% from the group over 45 years.
The research group consisted of persons from various walks of life and different educational backgrounds but majority of them had pointed out the fact that the health and environmental issues caused by the consumption of liquor in quarter bottles, the Chairperson said.
Earlier studies carried out by the World Health Organisation (WHO) had also showed serious health concerns when consumers tend to use a portion of strong alcoholic beverages at once, especially by gulping it down in one go.
The handy size of the bottle and relatively the affordable price per item, the consumers especially in developing countries like ours would resort to have their alcohol intake at once for quick and lasting pleasure, the official said.
According to WHO report on alcohol consumption in Sri Lanka, about 8.7% consumers used strong alcoholic beverages. A finding done in 2019 showed that 54% of the total liquor consumption in the country was of quarter bottles and about nine to ten million such bottles had been sold within the particular year. Apart from the general health concerns, complaints had been received from the country’s farming community regarding the haphazard disposal of quarter bottles by consumers, wherever they use it, be it a land of cultivation like paddy fields or tea estates. (KURULU KOOJANA KARIYAKARAWANA)