Jamaica gets praise from PAHO/WHO for new tobacco law

Thursday, July 18, 2013

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THE Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) have heaped praises on Jamaica for the no-smoking regulations, which took effect on Monday.


In a release yesterday, the United Nations bodies said that the regulations will protect the population from the harmful effects of tobacco and exposure to second-hand smoke.


The new law includes a ban on smoking in enclosed, public, and workplaces, and requires health warnings to cover 75 per cent of the main surfaces of cigarette packets.


"These measures will help to reduce the number of children who start smoking and will increase the number of smokers who quit," said Margareta Sköld, PAHO/WHO representative in Jamaica, adding that health warnings help to raise public awareness of the risks of smoking.


This move makes Jamaica the fourth country in the Caribbean community (Caricom) to become 100 per cent smoke-free, after Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and Suriname. It is the seventeenth country in the Americas to take this step.


"Laws against tobacco smoke protect the health of non-smokers, do not harm business, and encourage smokers to quit," said Adriana Blanco, the PAHO/WHO regional advisor on tobacco.


Blanco also pointed out that Jamaica is among the three countries in the region with the biggest health warnings, showing images of the diseases and suffering caused by tobacco use. In Uruguay, these warnings cover 80 per cent of the main surface area of cigarette packets, and in Canada, 75 per cent.


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