- NDDCB research says tobacco preparations being made at home
The National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) revealed that the use of tobacco in Sri Lanka’s school system has recently shown a “significant” rise, where statistics indicated that current tobacco smoking prevalence among those aged between 18 and 69 years is at 15% with a daily smoking prevalence rate of 10.2%.
Speaking to the media yesterday (31), NDDCB Chairman Shakya Nanayakkara said that investigations have revealed that in many cases, tobacco-based preparations are made at home and that therefore, all parents should be extremely vigilant in this regard. “According to the information and documented data that we receive, it has been found that the use of tobacco is rapidly becoming popular among school students. Compared to other drugs, the use of tobacco has increased among school students. What we have discovered during the investigations is that many students produce these tobacco preparations in their homes. Such a situation is very serious. The spread of these drugs in schools is done by the students themselves. Therefore, the school administrations and parents need to look into this,” he said.
In addition, he said that in the past few months of this year (2023) alone, about 50,000 “ice” (crystal methamphetamine) drug addicts have been identified and that those statistics do not include people under 18 years of age. “About 50,000 ice drug addicts have been identified in these seven months alone. This is a very unfortunate situation. This number does not account for individuals under 18 years of age. Therefore, this figure is obviously lower than the actual numbers,” he said.
When contacted by The Daily Morning yesterday, an Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Education said that with the support of the Police and community associations, the Ministry has implemented numerous programmes to eliminate drug use by school students and the relevant departments have been informed about such incidents in schools while principals have been informed to act according to the existing legal provisions.