Public Education Campaign on the Harmful Effects of Alcohol Use

Photo: Dave Reid Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton (at podium), addresses a drug forum organised by the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA), today (February 13), at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston. Listening keenly (from left) are Executive Director of the NCDA, Michael Tucker; Organization of American States (OAS) Representative in Jamaica, Jeanelle van Glaanenweygel, and Research Specialist with the Inter-American Drug Control Commission, Pernell Clarke.

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Health will be embarking on a public education campaign to inform persons about the harmful effects of alcohol use, as part of a national policy to reduce health challenges.
  • The Minister was addressing a drug forum organised by the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA), held today (February 13), at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.
  • “Just as the marketing companies and the brands have a narrative that makes it comfortable for that choice to be a preferred option, we need a narrative that expresses caution to those who make that choice, and those who are not in adulthood,” the Minister emphasised.

The Ministry of Health will be embarking on a public education campaign to inform persons about the harmful effects of alcohol use, as part of a national policy to reduce health challenges.

Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says action must be taken through government policy, regulations and education to restrict the high consumption of alcohol, which the World Health Organization (WHO) associates with more than 3.3 million deaths annually.

The Minister was addressing a drug forum organised by the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA), held today (February 13), at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

“Just as the marketing companies and the brands have a narrative that makes it comfortable for that choice to be a preferred option, we need a narrative that expresses caution to those who make that choice, and those who are not in adulthood,” the Minister emphasised.

Dr. Tufton said the implications associated with alcohol use are often overlooked, and just as how there is a major focus on other drugs, the national framework will ensure that the public has information on the issue for health protection.

He noted that the WHO classifies alcohol with contributing to over 200 diseases, such as cancers, cirrhosis of the liver and various mental disorders, as well as violence, child neglect, child abuse and absenteeism at the workplace.

The Minister informed that the Government will, in the new fiscal year, move to settle on a “comprehensive” tobacco legislation, incorporating amendments to the Public Health (Tobacco Control) Regulations, which seek to control smoking and tobacco use.

Dr. Tufton called for greater enforcement of the law as it relates to no-smoking zones. “If there is a law that says ‘don’t smoke in public spaces’, then you should not smoke in public spaces,” he said.

The event was used to release information on the 2017 drug-use assessment, conducted with technical assistance from the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission of the Organization of American States (OAS).

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