Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson says the Public Health (Tobacco Control) Regulations, 2013 will help to move Jamaica towards developed-country status.
He said the regulations would improve the health of persons through the reduction of the prevalence of non-communicable diseases.
Ferguson was speaking yesterday at the launch of the Jamaica National Building Society's health and wellness event - Wellfest 2013 - held at the company's head office on Constant Spring Road in St Andrew.
"Health and development are two sides of the same coin. A healthier population is a move in the right direction towards meeting our national development goals," he explained.
He said the introduction of the Public Health (Tobacco Control) Regulations, 2013, was intended to reduce the prevalence of non-communicable diseases by addressing the risks associated with tobacco exposure.
The country spends billions each year on addressing the ills caused by the effect of tobacco smoke. The direct and indirect cost of tobacco use and exposure is estimated to be between US$750 million and US$1.3 billion.