Today, 31 May,the World Health Organization (WHO) and global partners to celebrate World No Tobacco Day (WNTD). This annual campaign, as highlighted on the WHO website,is an opportunity to raise awareness on the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, and to discourage the use of tobacco in any form.
Focus for this year,2019 is on “tobacco and lung health.” The campaign will increase awareness on: The negative impact that tobacco has on people’s lung health, from cancer to chronic respiratory disease and the fundamental role lungs play for the health and well-being of all people.
The campaign also serves as a call to action, advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption and engaging stakeholders across multiple sectors in the fight for tobacco control.
Uganda joins the rest of the world to celebrate this day amidst gravely rampant public smoking in the face of the 2015 Anti-Tobbaco Law,whose provisions had barred the latter as it made it unlawful to sell or operate tobacco-related products or smoke a cigarette within 50 metres from any public facility or place such as a school or a hospital.
But it is overly dismaying to see scenes of public smokers in Masaka Region where Kitovu Mobile strives to make communities healthier and empowered to cope effectively with the impact of HIV/AIDS,Cancer and other emerging chronic illnesses.
Since our mission as Kitovu Mobile is to empower marginalised communities affected by AIDS/TB and other emerging chronic ailments,we wish and yearn to see this Act, which was a fulfillment of Uganda’s obligations to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) which the country signed on 5th March 2004 and ratified on 20th June 2007, become relevant.
For we all know the negative bearing public smoking has on TB ,lung cancer and other respiratory disease;and as experts note,passive smokers are gravely affected than direct smokers,are reason why we wish to see the Act bearing its expected fruits.