Gov’t to tackle tobacco smoking
The health minister, Dr. Fenton Ferguson has raised alarm that more teenagers appear to be smoking tobacco.
According to Dr Ferguson, the practice is most prevalent among the 13 to 15 age cohort.
The Health Minister said the Government, as a priority, is moving to cut people’s exposure to the harmful effects of tobacco use through a comprehensive Tobacco Control Act.
He said the Ministry is now finalising preparations to seek Cabinet approval for the draft bill that will provide sweeping protection against unwanted tobacco exposure.
The Bill is designed to reduce demand for tobacco products over time, protect persons and the environment from tobacco smoke, and prevent the elicit supply of tobacco products.
Dr. Ferguson said the legislation is an integral part of the government’s bid to address the increase in non-communicable diseases.
It is also in keeping with obligations under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control which was ratified by Jamaica in July 2005.
However, the enactment of domestic legislation emanating from the treaty is outstanding.
At a town hall meeting in Kingston last week, Senior Superintendent of Police Derrick Knight also raised concern about the increasing number of children smoking substances and drinking alcohol.
SSP Knight called for parents to better monitor their children and make the necessary intervention early.