Health ministry to undertake tobacco control impact study
The Ministry of Health says it will be undertaking an economic impact study to assess the economics of tobacco control in Jamaica.
Health Minister, Dr Fenton Ferguson, says the study will inform the process to adopt strong tax measures as a tobacco control strategy.
Ferguson says the health ministry recently engaged internationally renowned tobacco tax specialist, Dr Corne Van Walbeek, to undertake the study.
He notes that Van Walbeek had done a similar research in Jamaica in 2005.
The health minister was addressing a stakeholders meeting on Wednesday to discuss the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control needs assessment report on Jamaica.
The meeting, organised by the health ministry, was aimed at gaining commitment on the part of stakeholders, to address the gaps identified in the implementation of the convention.
The assessment was undertaken by the Ministry and the Convention Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in collaboration the Pan American Health Organization, in August 2014.
Fenton noted that even though the country implemented the Public Health (Tobacco Control) Regulations in 2013, other areas remain to be addressed in order to be fully compliant with the convention.
He told stakeholders that among the needs and priorities identified by the report, is the development of comprehensive tobacco control legislation.