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Carreras wants open dialogue with Gov't on tobacco bill

Monday, February 22, 2021

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Carreras Limited, the island's leading distributor of cigarettes, has called for more open communication between the Government and business operators who will be affected by the Tobacco Control Bill, which was tabled in Parliament on December 1, 2020.

According to a statement from Carreras, across at least seven parishes, business operators were in large part unaware of the tabling and the provisions of the bill that could change the course of their wider financial futures, and their collective business structure permanently.

Carreras said businesses such as Chill Spot in downtown Kingston and Kingston Jerk in St Andrew, expressed that they believe they should have the right to appeal to “the presiding technocrats on the detrimental impact such legislation will have on their very survival.”

“With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many establishments and cottage industries linked to the entertainment and event sectors have experienced significant downturn in revenue and patronage due to the ongoing government-implemented measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus,” the statement read.

Managing Director at Carreras Raoul Glynn said, “we more than understand the need for continuous regulation, and as such, wish to engage the Government in open dialogue regarding this bill in a concerted move to determine that the measures to be implemented will indeed produce the intended outcome. We cannot risk the further displacement of key segments of workers and entrepreneurs, in creating avoidable issues that could ultimately lead to the closure of over 10,000 small bars, whose operations continue to reel from the fallouts of the pandemic. They must be included in the legislative process.”