By Ronald Kabuye
Uganda’s Civil Aviation Authority CAA has been cited out by the tobacco control activists as the most non-compliant entity and violator of the Tobacco Control act 2015.
This has been revealed by the national coordinator of the Uganda Health Communication Alliance UHCA, Richard Baguma Tinkasimire during the award ceremony of the most compliant entity of the act in Kampala and Wakiso districts, held at Uganda Management Institute UMI.
Baguma accused CAA of displaying tobacco products in the shops at Entebbe International Airport, failure to prevail over those who smoke in the same area, adding that the CAA officials have also for long ignored the tobacco control activists’ warnings with lots of arrogance which is to lure them into conducting a raid on the area as soon as possible.
Baguma also expressed dismay over the failure by most media houses to display a no smoking signage.
The public places awarded for being compliant by at least fulfilling 90% of the tobacco control act include Uganda Management Institute UMI, Cinema Magic Nalya and NBS Television out of the 20 that were nominated via an online portal.
The head of Mental Health at the ministry of Health Dr. Hafisha Lukwata used the opportunity to appeal to young people to embrace the fight against tobacco use in order to protect their generation and the generations to come since the ultimate end of tobacco use is death.
She also revealed that the tobacco control regulations are now awaiting the instituted National Tobacco Control committee to take oath, scrutinize the regulations as proposed by the technical team before the Health minister assents to them for roll out.
The award winners pledged to continue with the fight against tobacco use before urging the organizers of the awards to up the sensitization campaign especially amongst the youths and education institutions.
The tobacco control act prohibits a person from smoking within 50 meters in an outdoor place, window, door, waiting area or place of service. It prohibits the display of tobacco products, smoking corners and sale of single cigarette but rather a full packet and calls for a display of a no smoking signage in all public places among others.
It should also be noted that Tobacco use is the leading cause of cancers and for every one shilling got from tobacco industry the country losses 4 shillings in treating the tobacco related illness.