Kampala- July 9, 2014- The Tobacco Control Bill 2014 presented in Uganda’s Parliament for the 2nd Reading
The Tobacco Control Bill 2014 was this afternoon presented to the Parliament of Uganda for the 2nd reading following a consultative process by the Parliamentary Committee on Health, which also presented its findings.
The motion to table the Bill was moved by Hon. Nyakikongoro who highlighted the health hazards of tobacco to the House and called for an urgent passing of the bill into law so as to protect both current and future generations from the devastating effects of tobacco. The House that was chaired by the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Jacob Oulanya overwhelmingly supported the motion.
The Tobacco Control Bill was first presented in Parliament in March 2014 by Hon. Chris Baryomunsi as a Private Member’s Bill and was referred to the Committee on Health for further scrutiny and consultations with stakeholders.
Presenting the report on behalf of the Health Committee, the Chair of the Committee Hon. Bitekyerezo stressed that his committee carried out wide ranging consultations including benchmarking the process in Kenya which already has a law in place.
Some of the key recommendations by the Committee include;
1. Prohibition of smoking within 50 meters of public places and work places
2. Prohibition of designated smoking areas
3. A total ban on the importation, manufacture, distribution, possession, use, sell or offer for sale of water pipe tobacco delivery system, and all flavored tobacco products including shisha and kuber
4. Pictorial Health Warning Message on tobacco packaging should occupy not less than 60% of the Principal Display Area of the unit package of a tobacco product. This is as opposed to the originally proposed 75%.
5. Prohibition of sale or buying of tobacco products in public places like hospitals and Schools
These and other recommendations as well as proposed amendments to the Bill will be debated on the floor of parliament on Tuesday July 14, 2015.
Earlier in the morning, Tobacco Control Advocates under the TC Coordination Mechanism held a consultative meeting with the supporters and Champions of the Bill in Parliament to equip them with key arguments so as to enable them make informed discussions on the floor of Parliament.