Create a public opinion on community based organization to implement Pictorial Health Warnings
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Alcohol & Drug Information Centre, Social Mobilization, Sri Lanka
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A577
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Background and challenges to implementation:
In 2012, Health Minster of Sri Lanka proposed 80% pictorial Health warning on cigarettes packs as follows the FCTC recommendations. The tobacco industry did not allow implementing and filed a case on court. the PHW implementations has been delayed. Drug prevention practitioners all over the country used to respond the way of supporting PHW applying and convey the public interest on it. ADIC and Women Development Federation, Hambantota started awareness raising campaigns among the women.

Intervention or response:
A silent protest was conducted front of the high courts on the court date by the staff members of WDF. Approximately 50,000 women employed in WDF at Hambantota District signed a petition and sent to the Health Minister requesting to implement the pictorial health warning. They spread the message through banners, posters, leaflets and also through protests. All stakeholders were addressed about industry influences on delay the PHW's and this opportunity was effectively used by community based organization.

Results and lessons learnt:
WDF was able to show the public interest on implementing PHW's. As an community based organization able to create public pressure on politicians to support PHW's. The pictorial health warning was successfully implemented covering 80% of the Cigarette pack.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
Tobacco industry was trying to undermine the Health Minister's stand on PHW's applying. Without various public support on this setting health minister would be a victim of tobacco industry. the public support is must at the whatever level policy formulation. it would be more sustainable.

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