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Carreras calls for balanced approach to tobacco-control laws

Published:Friday | June 1, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Local cigarette company Carreras has thrown its support behind tobacco-control regulations for Jamaica.

In a release this week, Carreras said its fundamental argument on the issue of regulation was for balance.

"All that we ask of the Government is for such regulations to be balanced, practical, and enforceable; and that they respect the rights of both smokers and non-smokers," the company said as it recognised World No Tobacco Day which was celebrated yesterday.

In the crafting and enactment of tobacco-control regulations, Carreras said it believed that in the spirit of continued partnership with the Government, the tobacco industry should have a voice.

"Carreras takes this opportunity to remind all that an unintended consequence of draconian and unenforceable regulation has been a further rise in the illicit trade, which goes beyond hurting the legitimate tobacco industry and the livelihood of thousands of tobacco retailers, to severely decreasing Government's revenues from the legal trade," the company said.

Carreras argued that it was in disagreement with the Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control, which has been arguing that Jamaica is in breach of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Earlier this month, Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson said the tobacco-control legislation, which could see a ban on smoking in public spaces, would come into effect during his tenure.

Just six months ago, a study by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority suggested that Jamaica was in breach of the WHO's framework convention.