a civil society alliance for combatting chronic disease in the caribbean

Healthy Caribbean Coalition - December 6, 2009 - Tobacco Control Bill passed in the lower house in Trinidad & Tobago

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The Trinidad and Tobago Cancer Society would like to express sincere thanks to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago for its commitment to the Tobacco Control Bill 2009. We would also like to thank all the Senators for their valuable contributions, especially as all amendments to the Bill made at committee stage has not adversely affected the legislation.

The passing of the Tobacco Control Bill 2009 is a landmark achievement and we would like to congratulate all that took part in this important public health issue. We would like to make special mention of the Ministry of Health, under the leadership of the Minister of Health, the Honourable Jerry Narace, for their hard work and dedication to the tobacco control movement.

Tobacco Control legislation is a great achievement for the society of Trinidad and Tobago. It is a clear indication that we are moving towards developed nation status and sets us on track to achieving “Vision 2020”. All 34 countries featured on the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) “Advanced Economies” list have tobacco control legislation in place. The World Bank in their 1999 report, “The Economics of Tobacco Control”, states that tobacco control measures within a society are a crucial public health component, which benefits the economic development of the entire society. We have joined the ranks of these nations by passing the Tobacco Control Bill 2009.

The passing of comprehensive tobacco control legislation is truly a David and Goliath success story for the people of Trinidad and Tobago. The Tobacco Industry is known internationally for their strong lobby and extreme tactics to prevent the enactment of tobacco control legislation. Our small community has taken on one of the most powerful industries in the world and has won. The passing of this legislation is particularly important to the Trinidad and Tobago Cancer Society as we have been fighting for this for 40+ years. However, we could not do this alone and would like to once again applaud all those that were instrumental in this victory, in particular the stakeholders that publicly supported this cause:

The Medical Association of Trinidad and Tobago, The Nurses Association of Trinidad and Tobago, The Diabetes Association of Trinidad and Tobago, The National Parents and Teachers Association, Adult Literacy & Tutors Association, The United National Educational Scientific and Cultural Operation (UNESCO), The Rebirth House, The University of the West Indies, Downtown Owners & Merchants Association, The Trinidad Muslim League, Catholic Commission for Social Justice, The Seventh Day Adventist Union, Network of NGO’s of Trinidad and Tobago for the Advancement of Women, The Dragon Boat Racing Association, Family Planning Association of Trinidad and Tobago, The Just Because Foundation, Anjuman Sunnat0Ul-Jamaat (ASJA) and The Sanatan Dharma Maha Saba of Trinidad and Tobago.

Thank you everyone for your contribution to this important public health movement.

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