THIS YEAR marks 15 years since Jamaica acceded in 2005 to the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the only global health treaty.
Since its formation on World No Tobacco Day, May 31, 2002, the Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control (JCTC) has been a strong advocate for public-health policies that seek to protect Jamaica’s population from the ravages of tobacco and nicotine use. According to WHO statistics, eight million people die each year from tobacco use, all preventable deaths, and it is well known that tobacco is the only substance that, when used as intended, leads to the death of its users. In 2004, tobacco was responsible for 11 per cent of all non-communicable deaths and three per cent of communicable deaths in Jamaica (WHO, 2012). As we approach another World No Tobacco Day on May 31, the deadly impact of tobacco use on health is again brought into focus by the World Health Organization’s theme: ‘Protecting Youth from Industry Manipulation and Preventing Them From Tobacco and Nicotine Use’.
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