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Tobacco Control Act for Parliament next year

Thursday, November 15, 2012 | 6:19 AM    

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MINISTER of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson has committed to bringing the Tobacco Control Act to Parliament early in the next financial year.

The legislation, which is in the draft stages, seeks to protect citizens from the harmful effects of tobacco, including the banning of smoking in public and workplaces.

“I am committed, as minister, to bring by the first quarter of financial year 2013-14 a (Comprehensive) Tobacco Control Act that will deal with a smoke-free workplace and public space. This is something we have to look at,” he said.

Dr Ferguson, who was speaking at the National World Diabetes Day breakfast meeting at the Courtleigh Hotel in Kingston yesterday, said the legislation is an integral part of the Government’s bid to address the increase in non-communicable diseases.

The Comprehensive Tobacco Control Act is designed to reduce demand for tobacco products over time, protect persons and the environment from tobacco smoke, and prevent the illicit supply of tobacco products. Enactment of the legislation is in keeping with obligations under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which Jamaica ratified in July 2005.

The breakfast meeting, held under the theme: ‘Diabetes: Protect Our Future’, was organised by the ministry.

The health minister said death and disability from diabetes and non-communicable diseases can be prevented by addressing the four main lifestyle risk factors, which are physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, tobacco use, and harmful use of alcohol.

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