Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control: Jamaica government must follow WHO FCTC provisions

01st March 2011

The Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control is becoming increasingly concerned about the decision to expand the production of tobacco growing in Jamaica which is in direct contravention of the World Health Organization (WHO) Treaty - The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which the Government of Jamaica signed on September 24, 2003 and ratified on July 7, 2005.

In addition to the expansion of tobacco production, the Government is also in breach of the treaty obligations as it relates to the passing of tobacco control legislation. The WHO reports that tobacco use is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced. It kills more than five million people a year – an average of one person every six seconds – and accounts for one in 10 adult deaths. Up to half of current users will eventually die of a tobacco-related disease.

Based on current mortality due to tobacco smoking, evidence is that 75% of the mortality from smoking will be in developing countries, and in Jamaica, with a larger percentage of hypertension and diabetes; the evidence is that these diseases will increase mortality to a considerable degree.

This letter is calling on the Government of Jamaica to address these pressing issues and to advise what their position is in relation to the FCTC and Jamaica’s obligations. Download the open letter from the Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control here.