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Uganda: Tough Anti-Tobacco Law in Offing
Date : 04 March 2009

The Government in Uganda is preparing a tougher law which requires dealers in tobacco products to have licences within a year from the date of commencement. It will also halt all advertising of tobacco in the media, and its sale in small quantities. The regulation will also stop the sale and smoking of tobacco in public places.

The proposed law was discussed during the Uganda Health Communication Alliance workshop in Kampala which was attended by medical doctors, journalists and health activists.

In March 2004, the Government banned smoking in public places. The then Water, Lands and Environment Minister, Kahinda Otafiire, ordered the ban, to take immediate effect. The minister defined public places as "anywhere where people converge and where there are non-smokers who do not want to inhale the smoke."

This came a day after Uganda signed the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in 2004.

Tobacco, according to the Uganda Heart Institute, is the leading cause of preventable death in the world, accounting for over 5.2 million deaths annually. It is projected that the death toll from diseases caused by the use of tobacco will rise to 10 million per year, with 70 percent occurring in developing countries like Uganda.


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