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Ferguson ready for court battle over smoking regulations

Published: Wednesday November 27, 2013 | 9:32 am Comments 0
Dr Fenton Ferguson
Dr Fenton Ferguson

Jerome Reynolds, Gleaner Writer

The Health Minister, Dr Fenton Ferguson says he is not fazed by reports of a likely legal challenge to aspects of the smoking regulations.

It has been reported that local cigarette distributor Carreras Limited plans to go to the Supreme Court to seek orders for sections of the regulations to be struck down.

The company is reportedly contending that the health minister has acted outside his authority.

However, Ferguson says the government is committed to a healthier Jamaica and there are no plans to withdraw the ban.

He says the health ministry is prepared to challenge any court action against the ban.

Last month, Carreras said its sales have been hard hit, slipping by almost a 25 per cent since the smoking ban was implemented.

The cigarrette distributors also expressed concern that the fall in sales will impact inflows to the National Health Fund, which gets 75 per cent of its revenue from tobacco sales.

Meanwhile, the health minister says his ministry will be seeking to enforce the regulation in other areas of the tobacco industry.

This will impact advertising, promotion and sponsorship by tobacco distributors.


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