By Jumah Nsubuga
MP Chris Baryomunsi has said that he is ready to table the Anti Tobacco control bill before parliament for the first reading in March after securing a certificate of financial implications from the minister of finance Maria Kiwanuka.
Mr Baryomunsi told Uganda Picks yesterday that he is going to lobby his fellow MPs and pass this bill into law. “The bill will be supported by the entire house since smoking is a greater risk of heart disease and lung cancer”.Mr Baryomunsi said.
“Am now ready to table the bill before parliament for the first reading and we are going to gazette and print this bill to all Ugandans as the law stipulates. Am very sure by June this year the president will assent on this bill to become a law” He confirmed.
The bill ,if passed into law would provide for the price increase on tobacco products through taxing them highly as an intervention in reducing demand for tobacco. The object of the law is to protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, economic, and environmental consequences of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke.
Meanwhile the secretary of the parliamentary forum for non-communicable diseases ,Naome Kabule ,says that, parliament should quickly pass this bill because smoking kills people more than any other diseases in Uganda.
According to the statistics 4800 new cases of lung cancer are registered annually in Mulago hospital. The statistics also shows that, 3M males and 0.7M female in Uganda use Tobacco. And 50% of men in Karamoja sub region use Tobacco
The coordinator Uganda communication alliance Mr Richard Baguma Tinkasimire has urged the lawmakers to pass the bill without any politicking.
“This bill should have passed yesterday. It’s late but never too late. We fully support the bill and we support it with all its contents. I appeal to legislators in parliament to kindly pass the bill without politicking and pass it across the political divide. I also urge all development oriented institutions to support the bill”.