This, they say will see them create more jobs, striking a balance between social issues and competing economic interests.

Tabled by the Kinkizi East MP, Chris Baryomunsi, the tobacco control bill also wants to regulate labeling, advertising and promotion, distribution and use of tobacco products—endorsing a World Health Organization (WHO) resolution, of which Uganda is a signatory.

The bill seeks to protect minors from unwarranted tobacco use and protect the environment, claiming that tobacco related activities have far reaching impact on mother-nature.

Importantly perhaps , it hopes to address the plight of tobacco farmers who are already suffering under the hands of some unscrupulous tobacco dealers.

Players want a fair law, that will stimulate businesses. “We are not against regulation of the industry. What we are asking is a balance between workable enforceable legislation that takes into account both public health concerns and appreciates the need of socio-economic development,” BAT, Head of Regulation-East And Central Africa, Julie Adell-Owino, said last week in Kampala in a dialogue with the MPs, tobacco farmers and other sector players.

With the tobacco control bill lurking, revenue contribution will not only be drastically affected but illicit trade will simply multiply. The industry players further contend that the bill will see more than 13,0000 people, both directly and indirectly employed in the industry lose jobs.

By Ismail Musa Ladu, Daily Monitor

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