Tobacco industry targeting Youth-Gov’t urged to enforce Tobacco control measures.
By Julius Muhumuza
Tobacco Control stakeholders in Uganda have raised a concern over the tobacco industry continuing to initiate new technology tobacco products like electronic cigarettes, kuber, mijaj which contain addictive nicotine dangerous to public health.
Moses Talibita, Uganda National Health Consumers Organization Legal officer told this website that the tobacco industry new products such as e-cigarettes, Shisha, Kubar, Mijaj among others, majority of the consumers are the youths below 21 years which contradicts with the Tobacco Control Act 2015.
He noted that Whereas Uganda’s Tobacco control legal framework Marks five years ever since it was enacted in 2015 and entered into force on the 17th of May 2017, in unanimity section 17 bans persons below 21 days engaging in any tobacco crop or product activities, enforced by section 16 that bans sale of shisha, electronic cigarettes, smokeless such as Mijaj, or Kubar and flavored tobacco product’s in Uganda; and display of tobacco product’s at points of sale.
Uganda Health communication Alliance Executive Director Richard Baguma says, that smoking tobacco dramatically increases higher chances of developing Lung cancer, heart diseases, stroke and it can also cause miscarriage to pregnant women.
In relationship to Covid-19 tobacco use causes a higher risk in the effects of covid-19 for both active and second-hand smokers.
According to Uganda’s tobacco health cost study by the Centre for tobacco control Africa of 2017, the direct cost of treating tobacco attributable illnesses in Uganda is estimated to be $41.56million. The total health cost of tobacco use in Uganda stood at 126.48million, an indicator that total health cost outweighs the market value $ 81.22 million of tobacco products or the assumed benefit of tobacco use in Uganda.
The demand for enforcement of tobacco control measures comes as Uganda joins the rest of the world to commemorate “World no tobacco day”.
World no tobacco day was created by World health organization member States in 1987 to draw global attention to the Tobacco epidemic and preventable death and diseases it causes.
The theme of the world no tobacco day 2020 is “Protecting the youths from tobacco industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use”
Tobacco control stakeholders have also urged the government to Levy tobacco products taxes beyond 75% World Health Organization minimum standard to finance the realization of universal health care or National Health Insurance.