By Kabuye Ronald

The Uganda Health Communication Alliance (UHCA) on Thursday released a report that exposed the intermediary of the big tobacco industry and how they serve the interest of the industry in Uganda in total disregard and contravention of the available laws that include the Tobacco control act 2015.

According to the report findings dubbed “The Big Tobacco Allies”: the tobacco industry indirectly advertises tobacco and its products using influencers through music, film, posters/ billboards, and social media platforms.

They also use politicians to push their agenda with a claim that tobacco control law is ineffective and alleging that the habit of smoking is a personal choice and one’s right.

The tobacco industry uses allies to undertake environmental conservation projects. The report implicates the Tropical Biodiversity Association and Earth Watch Institute to have collaborated with the British American tobacco to undertake a project on sustainable forest management in Uganda.

The Tobacco industry also creates partnerships with Non-Governmental Organizations and hide behind corporate social responsibility initiatives to polish its image and promote its products.

According to the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI), over 38 Ugandans die every day due to tobacco-related illness and it costs the government UGX 108.05 billion (USD 41.56 million) to treat tobacco attributable illness in Uganda.

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