Home Health Provide & Promote Safer Nicotine Products to avert Tobacco Smocking

Provide & Promote Safer Nicotine Products to avert Tobacco Smocking


Stakeholders in the tobacco control Program have asked the government to find alternative ways of regulating tobacco smoking, among others as promoting safe smoking, since the solution of completely banning it from public use has not yielded results.

Following the ban on tobacco use in 2016, the government enacted the 2015 Tobacco Control Act, which put in place laws making smoking in public illegal, harsh regulations on tobacco companies, and making it illegal to purchase some tobacco reduction products like nicotine vapes.

This law was accompanied by a national campaign dubbed ‘quit or die’ as the core message to smokers. Speaking during the release of the Report titled: The Impact of Tobacco Control Act 2015 and Subsequence Consequences on People Who Smoke In Uganda, Joel Sawa the Chairperson of the Tobacco Harm Reduction Uganda said that tobacco use since 2016 when the implementation of the law started has just increased showing a gap in the law.

“The Tobacco Control Act 2015 has achieved its aims significantly in reducing public smoking, but not the actuality of reduction in smoking overall as people are just more secretive about it,” he said

“The law has created stigmatization for the community of tobacco users and also has key gaps in its implementation and in the writes law itself,” he added

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Their report for example sampled out 533 participants in two districts; 250 in Kampala and 283 in Lira Districts respectively.

In Kampala for example, the study revealed that 77% of the sampled population are currently smoking while 90.8% of those in Lira are also still smoking. In Kampala still, the study revealed that 12.5% of the population smoke occasionally, 7.8% who used to smoke have quit and 1.9% don’t smoke but have ever tried it in their lifetime in Kampala.”

There is an equal split between the age group of 20-24 and 25-29 with the current use of tobacco. 7.8% used to smoke but have now quit between the 20-34 and 12.55% are occasionally smoking tobacco, especially among the 20-29 age group,” reads part of the report.

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Men, it said are currently the leading smokers at 55.6% compared to women with 21.9% who are currently using tobacco.”The results above indicate that the current use of tobacco was high among school-going children that had attained secondary school with 31%, followed by those that had attained primary with 22.7% and University Education with 20.6%,” it reads.

In terms of employment, the majority of smokers are employed in different sectors of Boda-Bodas, drivers, lawyers, nurses, and army majors and these amounted to 59.2%.

The study, that was released at Golf Course Hotel yesterday in Commemorations of the World Tobacco Day, revealed that there is no clear correlation between being unemployed and tobacco use, with those employed and using tobacco being 47.4% and those unemployed and smoking being at 30For Lira, tobacco smoking was evidenced more in the unemployed population at 60.1%, followed by the employed 38% and others 1.1%.”

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Cigarettes are the most used tobacco product accounting for 92% of the products, followed by chewing tobacco at 4.1%,” the report stated. Call for Action, Alternatives

Speaking at the release, Sawa said that government should find alternative means of averting tobacco dangers amongst the population.”

This can be done through promoting safe smoking, like electronic cigarettes because for example simply banning public smoking and shisha has evidently not been successful at reducing smoking, and these most márcinalised in society are left behind as usual,” he said “Policymakers should ensure that all who wish to quit tobacco use can through use of SNPs and through education on nicotine and its uses,” he added

He cited the report findings on the use of tobacco in Kampala for example cigarette/rollup smoking is the most used form of tobacco use at 46.63% and highest among the 20-29 age with 13.47% and smoking shisha was at 27.46% highest among the 20-24 aggroup with 16.06%.

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“It’s evident that these regulations have created room for backdoor smoking which is more harmful because we saw young women dominating shisha smoking at 25% compared to their male counterparts at 4.4%, this shows you that shisha is smoked as a form of recreative so easier to be used by women and young people I think promoting safe smoking will help here,” he said

“It is clear that tobacco use is high in both demographics (young and elderly) and this invokes the need for policymakers to identify interventions and strategies that will help curb the trend and ultimately lead to a smoke-free nation,” he added

Speaking at the event, Prosvovia Mental, medical clinical officers asked parents to monitor their children to avoid starting smoking at an early stage since it’s hard for one to quit when addicted to it.

“Parents should be very careful because we see a big number of children here in the report smoking we should monitor our children right from home, what the maids are teaching them, what they do while playing with their friends among others,” she said.

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