Carreras ready to work with Gov't on new tobacco law

Carreras ready to work with Gov't on new tobacco law

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

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CARRERAS Ltd, a major player in the local tobacco industry, says it will be affected when new proposed legislation eventually gets signed into law and as such is eager to contribute to the process of the Bill's development as the company continues to bolster its long-standing commitment to the Jamaican economy and the Jamaican people.

Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton last month tabled a new tobacco control Bill in the House that is meant to tackle the perennial challenges with mitigating non-communicable diseases among members of the public.

Said Carreras in a statement Monday: “It is the company's wish that the soon-to-be-appointed joint select committee will be given the opportunity to hear the concerns and recommendations by such stakeholders as retailers, wholesalers, distributors, and drink-service proprietors and licence holders.

“After the blow that all businesses have received due to the restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, it is crucial that dialogue is maintained between the industry and other arms of Government, comprising, but not limited to, the Jamaica Customs Agency and the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, in ensuring that any potential taxation or regulation continues to benefit the financial targets of the nation, and safeguard the productivity and job security for all along the sector's complex supply chain. Carreras has always batted for micro and small business entrepreneurs who, no doubt, have had a rough year keeping their businesses afloat and need to be reassured that the proposed Bill will not negatively affect their ability to earn revenue. Up to 26 per cent of the revenue earned by community bars and lounges are generated by cigarette sales,” it said.

The cigarette distributor said it is fully aware of the negative effects associated with the consumption of its products and is prepared — with the expert guidance of the Government and its regulatory bodies — to lead educational outreach in communities and within demographics that are most affected.

“The company will not shy away from its responsibilities to the health of its consumers and, by extension, the general public as the entity consistently audits its best practices. Carreras has also nurtured a relationship with law enforcement to protect consumers and businesses from the pressures of illicit trade syndicates who remain an imminent threat to law and order and legitimate entrepreneurship. The tobacco sector is confident in the Government's awareness of these criminal elements and trusts that the Bill will make provisions to counter for these disruptive factors.

“As a Jamaican company operating since 1962, Carreras is proud of our efforts to expand our corporate social responsibility targets. Its scholarship programme is one such area where it has made an investment in the intellectual and labour capital of Jamaica. At present, the programme provides much-needed financial support to adults pursuing their dreams of tertiary education — adults who, at the juncture in the global pandemic, will require this assistance more than ever as they struggle to secure an income and as institutions struggle to secure tuition fees. To date, more than $250 million has been donated to the future leaders and thinkers of Jamaica and Carreras hopes this contribution will be considered as the Bill develops,” said the company.

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