Ten arrested in Kabale for smoking in public

Another smoker being arrested

Kabale, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  Ten people have been arrested in Kabale Municipality for smoking in public.

They were arrested on Sunday in an operation headed by Patience Mutetsi, an official from the Tobacco Control  Program in the Ministry of Health, Gilbert Mateeka, Kabale District Health Officer, Andrew  Beija, Kabale Municipality Health Inspector, and the police.

The operation was conducted in Kigongi, Keita, Nkunda, Rwakarara, and Bugongi.  Seven people were arrested after they were found red-handed smoking in public while three were arrested for displaying and openly selling cigarettes.

Mutetsi said that whereas the law only allows a person to smoke when they are 50 meters away from the public, investigations indicate that this hasn’t been the case in Kabale.  She says that the arrested risk being fined.

Dr. Gilbert Mateeka, Kabale District Health Officer says that authorities have embarked on sensitization to the public to explain how hazardous it is to smoke while in a public place.

Article 12 of the Tobacco Control Act which was enacted in 2015 prohibits smoking in public places or any public transport and other outdoor places.

The offenders of a crime of such nature are liable to pay a fine of 20 currency points or a jail sentence of not less than 6 months by a competent court.

The law is aimed at protecting the environment from the effects of producing tobacco and exposure to tobacco smoke hence reducing related deaths.



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