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Tobacco control law coming

Published:Thursday | March 15, 2012 | 11:13 AM

Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer

Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson says the much-delayed Tobacco Control Legislation will come into effect during his tenure, despite the difficulty associated with its passage.

He was addressing the opening ceremony of the fifteenth annual conference of the Jamaica Dental Auxiliaries, at the Breezes Runaway Bay Hotel in St Ann yesterday.

Just six months ago a study by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority suggested that Jamaica was in breach of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control’s requirement for moderation of tobacco cultivation.

The report says local farming of the crop has increased pushing the value of the tobacco industry close to $400 million.

While the issue of cultivation remains the domain of the agriculture ministry, the health minister says he’s determined to curtail smoking in public spaces, an issue which falls directly under his health jurisdiction.

World Health Organisation figures indicate that one in every three cancer and cardiovascular deaths are caused by tobacco use.