By Paul Kiwuuwa
MPs on the Health committee are pushing for a total ban on smoking in public places to promote and protect the right to health and life as a fundamental human rights.
The Tobacco Control Bill 2014 provides for the right to establish ‘a tobacco –free environment’ within 100 meters of any public place that provides services primarily to a minor.”
However, MPs scrutinizing the Bill rejected the provision.
Mbarara municipality MP Dr. Medard Bitekyerezo said: “Why should the MPs play hide and seek game. We should inform the public that much as there is a right to create a tobacco free environment within a 100 meters in public places, such places are not available.”
The proposal was supported by Kiruhura Woman MP Beatrice Barumba who said “Even if such smoking places are designated within 100 meters, the life of a worker who cleans such places will be exposed to tobacco related illnesses such as lung cancer and heart diseases.”
The MPs were meeting the civil society organizations who were giving their views on the Bill. Officials from Center for Tobacco Control in Africa, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, School of Public Health and Mulago hospital were among those who attended, the first hearing.
Today the committee will meet state holders from the ministry of Trade and Industry, Energy, Agriculture and fisheries. Next week the committee will meet the proprietors of the Tobacco companies.
The Bill seeks to to regulate sponsorships from tobacco companies and protecting children from consuming cigarettes and tobacco products.
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MPs pushing for total ban on smoking in public places