People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
The Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control (JCTC) is calling on the non-profit United Way of Jamaica to stop accepting funding from Carreras, a subsidiary of British American Tobacco.
JCTC says that accepting funds from the tobacco industry is not in keeping with United Way’s vision, which is stated on its website: “United Way envisions a society where all individuals and families achieve their human potential through education, financial stability and healthy lives.”
Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Anthony Hylton, presented an award to Carreras on 21 September 2014 for being United Way’s largest corporate donor in Jamaica.
The minister’s involvement contravened Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), says the JCTC’s Barbara McGaw. Guidelines to Article 5.3 state that Parties to the FCTC “should not endorse, support, form partnerships with or participate in activities of the tobacco industry described as socially responsible”.
JCTC has written to the minister pointing out that, as an FCTC Party, Jamaica is expected to be fully compliant with Art. 5.3 and its guidelines.
An internet search revealed that the United Way has accepted funding from the tobacco industry in other countries.