If you are an ardent shisha smoker, you might need to tread carefully as the Kampala Capital City Authority is on the watch to arrest public smokers. KCCA is to engage with owners of malls, bars, and other public places to help arrest anyone found smoking in public.
Uganda banned public smoking in 2015 with the passing of the Tobacco Control Act. Rwanda followed suit and banned shisha smoking in December 2017 citing advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) in justification of the ban.
However, unlike in Rwanda, the ban on public smoking was only effected for a few weeks and everything was back to normal with most bars resuming business with even higher rates for the shisha flavors.
Kampala Capital City Authority has however reawakened its efforts to reduce on public smoking with a new campaign dubbed The Smoke Free City sensitizing people about the dangers of smoking and effects of consuming the toxic products into their body system.
The 2015 Tobacco Control Act, in an effort to protect the non-smokers in public places, stated that smoking can only be allowed fifteen meters away from a public place.
The Public Health Director at KCCA, Dr Daniel Okello, says the campaign is supported by WHO and Bloomberg Philanthropies Partnership for Healthy Cities, a global network of cities committed to reduce non-communicable diseases. Okello said;
The authority shall be vigilant on people who don’t abide by the law and once caught smoking in public. The masses need to know that such an act results into punishment by law
The authority has also introduced toll free numbers for people to report cases regarding tobacco use in public all in order to reduce the number of premature deaths, infertility rates, lung cancer and other conditions caused by smoking.
Dr Okello also explained more about what is to be done to shisha smokers and sellers;
One of the things we are going to go on urgently is the ban of shisha. Shisha was banned by the law, we don’t expect to see any shisha in the city. With immediate effect, we are going to carryout operations and confiscate all shisha that is in Kampala. If you are caught smoking it, its 200,000 shillings minimum or 6 months imprisonment for the bar owner. It varies from a fine to invocation of your license, or losing the earnings from the sale of shisha.
Well, you might want to reconsider your surrounding before you order for that shisha pot.