National Council on Drug Abuse backs smoking ban

Monday, July 15, 2013

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THE National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) has put its full support behind the Government's ban on smoking in public places, which will take effect today.


Executive director of the NCDA, Michael Tucker, said the organisation "commends the Minister of Health for his decision and leadership in safeguarding the public's health."


The ban, he said, is necessary and should be embraced by all Jamaicans, as cigarette smoking is the second leading cause of death worldwide, and also leads to several health complications.


In support of the ban, the NCDA is partnering with the Heart Foundation of Jamaica, Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control (JCTC), and the Jamaica Cancer Society, to organise three road marches today in Morant Bay, St Thomas, Half-Way-Tree, St Andrew, and Montego Bay, St James.


The marches, which will be held concurrently, will get under way at 7:00 am, and will include marching bands, entertainment as well as brief presentations.


Director of client services at the NCDA, Sisilyn Malcolm, informed that the marches will be used to further sensitise the public on the ban, and highlight the various services offered by the agencies to assist persons who decide to quit smoking.


Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson announced the ban in his sectoral presentation in Gordon House on June 25.


Effective today, smoking is banned in all enclosed spaces accessible to the public; pubic transportation; work places; government owned and occupied buildings; health facilities including pharmacies; sports, athletics and recreational facilities for the use of the public; educational institutions; areas specifically used by children; and places of collective use by the public such as bus stops.


The NCDA has been in operation since 1983, and has been charged with the mandate to implement programmes that would lead to a drug-free Jamaica.


— JIS


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