JIS News

A public education campaign, which aims to stop cigarette smoking within the designated area of Emancipation Square, in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, will begin this week.
The campaign will be spearheaded by the Smoke Free Action Coalition, in collaboration with the St. Catherine Parish Council.
Emancipation Square was recently declared a smoke free zone by Mayor of Spanish Town, Dr. Andrew Wheatley. Cigarette smoking will be prohibited in the area as soon as the amendment to the Public Health Regulations is completed. The square will be the first smoke free zone in the Caribbean.
The initiative is the brainchild of President of the Smoke Free Action Coalition, Miss Rosemarie Greene.
She told JIS News that although the square has been declared a smoke free zone, the ban on cigarette smoking cannot be enforced until a Resolution passed by the St. Catherine Parish Council is gazetted by the Department of Local Government.
In the meantime, she said, the Smoke Free Action Coalition will spearhead an education campaign to inform the public.
“We will be recording some scripts and putting together packets for the media houses, just to put it on for us, so this fabulous town can be showcased,” she said.
Miss Greene said that the campaign will also focus on the dangers of cigarette smoking and the hazards of second-hand smoking.
“You cannot have someone puffing next to another who is inhaling second-hand smoke,” she said, adding that the main idea behind the drive is “to protect the public.”
Miss Greene, who has experience in public health education, said her quest to make the square a no-smoking zone began about four years ago when she started a no-smoking campaign.
She noted that attempts to get adults to support the campaign were unsuccessful, so attention was turned on the young people, under a programme called: ‘Don’t Start’.
Despite the limited funds, Miss Greene said she is determined to continue with the campaign for young people. “When you can get through to the kids, they do not have to start smoking.It’s a good thing and that is working well,” she said, adding that the second phase of the ‘Don’t Start’ project will begin by the middle of March.
Miss Greene thanked the St. Catherine Parish Council, government agencies and the many corporate sponsors and persons who have contributed toward the success of the project.