Health Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton says he along with stakeholders will be evaluating the call by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for heavy taxation on the tobacco industry.
Addressing the WHO’s Executive Board in Geneva, Switzerland, yesterday Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, said heavy taxation is one way of controlling tobacco use.
According to Tufton, Jamaica, which is a member of the WHO board, shares the concerns about the financial costs to treat tobacco-related illnesses and the associated cost to public health, globally and nationally.
He says any measure to discourage smoking and support public health is worth considering.
In a landmark report on the economics of tobacco and tobacco control, the WHO and the US National Cancer Institute concluded that smoking costs the global economy more than $1 trillion yearly.
The researchers also said smoking will soon kill more than six million people worldwide each year.
They show how tobacco control, through heavy taxation can save lives while generating revenues for health and development.