Gov’t Urges Public to be Impolite to Smokers


Government has called upon the public to carry on with the efforts of minimizing the practice of public smoking.

Members of the public were yesterday called upon by the Ministry of Health to be rude to any person that is seen puffing publically.

The call was made at a tobacco control dialogue organized by Center for Health, information pills Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) in partnership with the Ministry on Wednesday.

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The dialogue was aimed at educating people on the public health impacts of tobacco in Uganda and the implementation of the Tobacco Control Act of 2015.

In 2014 government banned tobacco smoking in public places following a high court declaration that smoking in public places was a violation of non-smokers constitutional right to a clean and health environment.

It was against this background that the Tobacco Control Act was drafted, no rx tabled in parliament in 2012, information pills passed and assented to in 2015 by President Yoweri Museveni.

According to research by the World Health Organization, tobacco kills nearly 6million people each year, 600,000 of who are non smokers. Another 13000 die of cancer because of tobacco use all over the world.

Dr Sheila Ndyanabangi, the leading advocate of a tobacco free environment at the ministry of health said yesterday that time had come for Ugandans to be more alive to the dangers that public smoking poses.

“Do not be polite while telling smokers to stop smoking in public; tell them loudly to go far away from public places,” she said.

She added that for every dollar that Uganda earns from cigarette taxes, the country loses 3 dollars in treatment expenses of those suffering tobacco related ailments.

Smokers in Uganda are less than 10% which shows that the number is small and can be controlled.

The current law requires smokers to move up to 50meters away from people to light a cigarette.

At the dialogue, Primah Kwagala, the program manager at CEHURD stressed that it’s every ones right to life and a health environment.



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