By Suuna Pius
In the 21st Century, there is no doubt whatsoever that tobacco use is detrimental to human health. Given this information age, even the least informed person in the country knows a thing or two of the dangers of tobacco smoking be it in form of cigarette sticks or in its raw leafy form. For example, of all the adverse effects that arise out of tobacco smoke, an impact on the health of lungs can as well be pointed out by a toddler. In addition, tobacco smoke itself is irritating to none smokers. This culminates into frowned faces and sniffing an indication of the infringement on the quality air right.
Despite this age of “ready-get-information” there is still a need to retell, remind and jog the memory of people who can convey more on the dangers of tobacco use. It is on this rationale that the Uganda Health Communication Alliance (UHCA) has geared its energies in conducting In-House Media Trainings for the people in media from the different regions of Uganda (Western, Southern, West Nile, South West and Karamoja Sub region) to enlighten them on what to look out for and how to package their media stories on averting the use of tobacco.
These trainings are carried out following a procedure of explaining in detail to the media people the contents of the newly enforced Tobacco Control Law 2015. In this exercise, the provisions of the TC Act 2015 are highlighted which enhances the journalists ability to know what to report and also to be aware of what the law requires of them. For example, given the fact that the media stations are public places, they are required of the law to put up a “No Smoke” signage which cautions the public about smoking around the premises.