Tobacco Control advocate agency Uganda National Health Consumers’ Organisation (UNHCO) conducted spot on health inspections, audits and sensitization exercises of businesses and business areas in the Kampala divisions of Nakawa, Rubaga, Kawempe, Makindye and Central area to support enforcement of the Tobacco Control Act for compliance.
The Tobacco Control Act (2015) is a public health act that amply empowers all citizens of Uganda to enforce its declaration, including the total ban on shisha and the 50-metre rule. It has been completely enforceable since May 2017.
The Tobacco Control Act (2015) Section 16 places a TOTAL BAN on the importation, sell, offer for sale, or distribute of; Shisha (which is a flavoured water-pipe tobacco product) and/or shisha pots (which is a water-pipe delivery system). The penalty is a severe fine of not less than 20,000,000 UGX.
UNHCO worked with a team of government and civil society agencies including, Ministry of Health, Uganda Police Force (i.e.; CPS/Anti-Narcotics Department), Kampala City Council Authority, Ministry of Local Government, National Environment Management Authority and Uganda National Bureau of Standards.
During the inspection in the communities, traders were eager to listen closely to health and police inspectors, as they shared the details of the Tobacco Control Act.
And a way to ensure enforcement, there was a trader who was found illegally selling banned shisha products, who attempted to argue with the health and police inspectors claiming that he had legal paperwork permitting him to sell the illegal products. On delivery of the papers, the agents from URA during the inspections proved that the forms provided were in contempt of the law. All business owners should know that SHISHA IS A BANNED TOBACCO PRODUCT.
It should be known by all business owners that SHISHA IS A BANNED TOBACCO PRODUCT in Uganda.