KINGSTON: Health Minister, Dr. Fenton Ferguson, says there has been a 20 per cent reduction in asthmatic admissions to hospitals since the imposition of the no smoking policy in specified public spaces.
Dr. Ferguson, who was speaking at the official launch of the Heart Foundation of Jamaica’s (HFJ) annual “Run for your Heart” event last week, urged Jamaicans to continue supporting the ban.
“Within another couple of years, you will see, as has happened in Northern Ireland and other countries, less heart attacks, less strokes; and this is not at any big cost…all I ask of Jamaica is for support,” he said.
Ferguson said efforts against tobacco advertising and promotion will also be intensified in accordance with Article 13 of the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
Ferguson reiterated that the move to impose the ban was borne out of his commitment to the people of Jamaica.
“It is our view that we too have a right,” he said. “We are not saying persons can’t smoke, all we are saying is you must not smoke in some specified places.”
The regulations are consistent with the government’s 2013/14 strategic priority focus on human capital development in relation to health care.
The ban was imposed on July 15, with the implementation of the Public Health (Tobacco Control) Regulations 2013.