- Published on Sunday, 21 July 2013 08:52
- Written by Caricom News Network
Montego Bay, Jamaica: July 20, 2013 – Following fruitful discussions during a meeting with the Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, the Minister of Health and members of the Executive of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), a task force has been established to further address the concerns of the association in relation to Jamaica's smoking ban in public spaces.
These concerns, which centre around the possible impact of the recently introduced ban on smoking in public places, were recently raised by the JHTA, as it is believed that the ban could negatively impact the tourism sector.
The task force, which is comprised of officials from both Ministries and members of the JHTA, is slated to meet in Montego Bay, St. James on Monday, July 22, (2013) to iron out important issues.
According to Minister of Tourism and Entertainment the Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, “in principle the Tourism sector is in support of the anti-smoking legislation but we must discuss further how we can fulfill the obligations of the legislation without having a fall-out in the sector.”
Minister of Health the Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson indicated that he was pleased with the outcome of the meeting. He said, “it was good that both sides had an opportunity to better understand each other’s interests. It is a search for solutions. We want everyone to buy-in, as it is not about a draconian law but about saving lives, protecting workers, children and non- smokers.”
According to JHTA President, Evelyn Smith her association is pleased with the quick response from both Ministers and also that the importance of the sector is recognized. She is looking forward to having specific issues clarified.
Among the issues to be discussed, against the background of this new legislation which took effect on July 15, 2013 are the definition of entrances and exits, a workplace, and what constitutes a public space within a property.