KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Health, Dr Fenton Ferguson says his administration is determined to protect the Jamaican population from the consequences of tobacco consumption.
“We are pursuing a comprehensive tobacco control law to address issues such as trade, manufacturing, distribution to minors and licensing of distributors,” said Ferguson.
“The aim is to reduce demand for tobacco products over time, protect vulnerable persons and prevent the illicit supply of tobacco products. The former Cabinet had given drafting instructions in relation to the Public Health Act. However, certain issues were found to be incompatible with that approach. Further consultations are being pursued to inform a new Cabinet Submission,” he added.
The minister said that the legislation would include adequate provisions to deal with any breaches identified.
According to the health ministry tobacco smoking is the leading risk factor for non-communicable diseases.
Ferguson indicated that he is particularly concerned about impressionable adolescents as they are the group being seduced to use tobacco.