The business community has called for fair laws that facilitate trade rather than hurt it as is the case with the Tobacco Control Bill 2014.
According to Kampala City Traders Association (Kacita), should the Bill become law in its current form, it will in effect kill tobacco trade in the country.
The Bill, currently under scrutiny by the parliamentary committee on health, overall seeks to control the manufacture, sale and use of tobacco products in the country.
It also seeks to regulate labelling, advertising and promotion, distribution and use of tobacco products—in essence, endorsing a World Health Organisation (WHO) resolution, of which Uganda is a signatory.
Speaking to journalists last week in Kampala, the Kacita Chairman, Mr Everest Kayondo, said the intention of the proposed law (Bill), to prohibit smoking of tobacco within 500 metres of a public area is meant to ban the tobacco industry operations in the country.
Revision of the Bill
He said: “This provision of the Bill should either be reviewed or deleted. This is because the provision will make it impossible for any distributor, wholesale, retailer to deal in any tobacco product.
He continued: “There is no any place that is not within 500 metres or more of a public place in the city. The result of this will be that legal sales of tobacco products will fall to zero, and the gap will be filled by smugglers and black market.”