Covid-19 Pandemic Affecting, Implementation of Tobacco Control Laws.
By Julius Muhumuza
COVID 19 pandemic has continued to affect the implementation of tobacco control laws because focus and attention have been put on fighting the disease.
According to Richard Baguma Uganda Health Communication Alliance (UHCA) Executive Director and National Tobacco control committee member, COVID 19 creates high chances for tobacco users to succumb to death because tobacco smoking weakens the body.
He, therefore, urge the National Task Force on COVID 19 control to integrate tobacco control information and tell the public how tobacco use is related to COVID 19 pandemic.
He notes that during this COVID 19 situation, all tobacco control law implementers, Enforcers, advocates, adjudicators, and prosecutors’ attention was diverted on the immediate challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In COVID 19 situations criminal justice system like police focused on COVID, Court at the beginning of the country lockdown could not operate the same applied to prosecutors”, Baguma said.
Baguma said that issues of tobacco control that had gained momentum but relaxed because of lockdown because of the pandemic.
He added that Consumption partners of tobacco changed and consumers’ resorted to indoor tobacco use especially shisha smoking, making it difficult for law enforcers to arrest the suspects.