Skip to content

Recent Tobacco Control Measures do not Contradict Trade rules …Inter-Ministerial Group Concludes

PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 07 April 2014 16:31

Kingston - 4 April 2014

Tobacco Control Measures do not contradict trade rules. That is the general agreement coming from an inter-Ministerial group at the end of two days of consultations. Representatives from  the Ministries of Agriculture; Industry, Investment and Commerce; Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade along with the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice and other agencies met to address tobacco and trade issues in Jamaica and on a global scale. 

Left to right standing: Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson; Mr. Lenworth Fulton, representing the Minister of Agriculture, Permanent Secretary, Dr. Jean Dixon, Risk Factors Unit Chief (PAHO), Dr. Carlos Santos Burgoa, PWR Jamaica, Ms. Margareta Skold, Minister of State, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Arnaldo Brown.

Left to right sitting: Professor, Georgetown University Law Centre, Dr. Benn McGrady, Consultant WHO, Ms Katherine DeLand, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, Consultant, WHO, Dr. Stella Bialous

They concluded that the recent measures adopted in Jamaica are in line with the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The International Treaty ratified by Jamaica in 2005 mandates the introduction of tobacco control measures. Jamaica introduced Regulations placing a ban on smoking in specified public places in July 2013. In addition the Regulations call for graphic health warnings on 60% of the front and back surface of tobacco packages among other measures.

The Ministry of Health and the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) Country Office in Jamaica hosted the Inter-Ministerial meeting on Tobacco and Trade at the Jamaica Pegasus, April 2 and 3, under the theme “A Call for Action”.   Minister of Health, the Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson feels there is an imperative for joint action, 
“While the implementation of the WHO FCTC should be a health priority championed by Ministry of Health, many provisions of the WHO FCTC are of a multi-sectoral nature. It is therefore critical that all other sectors are involved.”  

Dr. Ferguson says there is a link between government action and the FCTC mandate, “While it is obvious that it is the responsibility of the entire government to develop strategies to alleviate poverty and increase quality of life for its population, we do not always recognize how closely related these issues are to tobacco control”.
He was supported by Dr. Douglas Bettcher, Director of Prevention of Non-communicable Diseases at the WHO who emphasized that, “No tobacco control effort succeeds in isolation. Evidence and experience proves it: a unified response of all governmental sectors in a country is essential to the successful implementation of effective measures to reduce tobacco use. The Government must unite against disruptive external forces to focus on an effective and comprehensive multi-sectoral national strategy for tobacco control.” 

Dr. Bettcher will speak on Tobacco Control and National Development: A Global Perspective on Friday, April 4, 2014. The Public Lecture will be held at the University of the West Indies Mona, Campus, Faculty of Medical Sciences (Main Lecture Room) at 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.