Twenty-three smokers were picked up in Kabale municipality in an operation led by Patience Mutetsi from the Tobacco Control Program under the Ministry of Health and Kabale District Health Officer, Gilbert Mateeka. The operation covered several streets of Kabale municipality and through trading centers in Kamuganguzi sub-county and Katuna town council targeting people violating the ban on public smoking.
The suspects were found smoking in public spaces, especially bars. Those arrested from Kabale were taken to Kabale police station while those in Kamuganguzi and Katuna were taken to Katuna police station for detention. On Monday, the team also traversed several shops, supermarkets, and hangouts warning proprietors against the public display of cigarettes.
Mutetsi told our reporter that whereas the law only allows a person to smoke when he is 50 meters away from the public, bans displaying of tobacco products, especially cigarettes as well as selling cigarettes to people below 21 years, investigations indicate that this hasn’t been the case in Kabale. Dr. Gilbert Mateeka, the Kabale District Health Officer, said that even with enforcement, authorities have embarked on public sensitization to explain how hazardous it is to smoke in public spaces.