Tobacco Control Committee Gathering and Journalist Awards.
The Tobacco Control Uganda initiative started in Uganda in 2003. This was during a time when a lot of Ugandans were in need of an established law against Tobacco.
Public smoking was the order of the day, and the Tobacco Industry was flourishing in its tactics to market and dodge taxes. The need for the Tobacco Control law spiked and Ugandans signed a petition to the judicial courts of law.
This was successful, and later in 2015, the president of Uganda signed the Tobacco Control Bill into an Act.
The journey of Tobacco Control advocacy has seen successes:
- The banning of Shisha
- Closing down bars which break the Tobacco Control law
- Summoning shops and supermarkets which display tobacco products
- Creating of the Tobacco Control Committee
- Gazetting of the Tobacco Control regulations,
among other success in implementing the Tobacco Control Law.
All these have been efforts of the Tobacco Control advocates (both online and offline), partners and sponsors, journalists and the different media houses which have ensured that the law is publicized.
On Friday 27th of September, Uganda Health Consumer’s Organization (UHCA) with support from its partners organized a celebration and appreciation to all the different parties who have made the Tobacco Control Uganda initiative a success.
The day started with an info session were journalists were brainstorming on better strategies to publicize the Tobacco Control law for the layman.
Even with the Tobacco Control Law, there is still a lot of loopholes in the implementation and also limited awareness to the citizens. The journalists and influencers spearheaded this activity through one-on-one interactions.
We had the Tobacco Control Committee members grace the day, and share about the successes and the long journey ahead for Uganda in implementing the law.
“Uganda’s Tobacco Control Law was billed as the strongest in Africa, and other African countries have been benchmarking on Uganda’s Tobacco Control Law. As we celebrate, we are reminding ourselves of the great job ahead of us.”
– Mr. Baguma Richard, The Director at UHCA said.
“We as the Tobacco Control Committee appreciate your efforts in advocating for a Tobacco Control Uganda campaign, and as we celebrate this milestone, we shall work with you to implement better strategies in keeping a #SmokeFREEUG”
– Mr. Boaz, Chairman Tobacco Control Committee
The day ended with an award session, appreciating the efforts of the different journalists who have been instrumental in pushing the message of a #SmokeFreeUG to the whole of Uganda.