- Head of the Convention Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), Dr. Haik Nikogosian, has lauded Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson regarding tobacco control legislation.
- Dr. Haik Nikogosian arrived in the island on Wednesday, May 7, for a two-day visit from May 7 to 8.
- A feature of the visit will be the government’s signing and ratification of the recently developed Illicit Trade Protocol.
Jamaica is taking the lead internationally in terms of the size of the graphic health warnings on (cigarette) packages.
This was disclosed by Head of the Convention Secretariat of the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), Dr. Haik Nikogosian.
In an interview with JIS News, the FCTC Head who arrived in the island on Wednesday, May 7, for a three-day visit from May 7 to 9, lauded the work of Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson in taking Jamaica to an enviable position globally, regarding tobacco control legislation.
“I would like to congratulate the Minister for taking very bold steps on tobacco control. That’s real public health leadership, and I hope that my visit will help also to bring this to the level of the whole government approach,” he said.
A feature of the visit, which is a follow-up to the recently held Inter-Ministerial Consultations on tobacco, will be the government’s signing and ratification of the recently developed Illicit Trade Protocol.
The visit is considered timely as Jamaica prepares to put in place additional tobacco control legislation in advancing its commitment under the FCTC.
Dr. Nikogosian who has been the Head of the Convention Secretariat of the FCTC since its inception in 1987, accepted the invitation of Minister Ferguson to visit Jamaica, to assess the country’s position with respect to tobacco control, as well as provide guidance for future action.
He pointed out that the FCTC was “the first convention in the history of public health so it’s a landmark legal instrument in global health and Jamaica was one of the earliest countries to accede to the convention”.
The FCTC Head will be participating in a number of events while in the island including a tobacco stakeholders meeting; a meeting with Government Ministers and other Members of Parliament; and a meeting with the Ministry of Health’s technical team.
Dr. Nikogosian will also be hosting a public lecture entitled ‘The Politics of Tobacco Control: Challenges and Successes’ at the Undercroft, University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus.
The FCTC is the first global treaty negotiated under the auspices of the WHO and provides legal dimensions for international health co-operation. The Convention was adopted by the World Health Assembly in May 2003, and currently has 176 Parties.