Uganda is standing firm on its eight-year-long ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes according to the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam.
The Tobacco Control Act 2015 sought to effectively remove vaping products from the Uganda market.
“Despite Uganda’s high and increasing burden of non-communicable diseases morbidity and mortality rates, one in ten people still smoke cigarettes daily, making the practice an ongoing and dire public health threat. This justifies the Tobacco Control Act and all the other government initiatives to regulate products, including e-cigarettes,” said Yonas.
Uganda is one of the 35 countries globally where e-cigarettes are banned. The law bans the importation, manufacture, distribution, processing, sale, or offer for sale of e-cigarettes, including nicotine- and non-nicotine-containing e-liquids.
The WHO agent also cited a retracted 2016 study reported in the Lancet journal that found that people who use or have used e-cigarettes are less likely to stop smoking.
Even though legal consequences aren’t optimally enforced, it is encouraging to see that there are now comparatively fewer people smoking in public, according to the statement.
Uganda is a signatory to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which provides countries with evidence-based strategies to address the tobacco epidemic in their national contexts.
WHO continues to support the Ministry of Health Tobacco control initiatives, including sensitizing communities about the negative impacts of tobacco consumption on health and the environment, and encouraging local farmers to plant food rather than tobacco.