Smoking tobacco is the most preventable cause of death among people and is a main factor for several mouth, throat, lung and heart diseases. It is also a main contributor to disease. Worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that tobacco use can cause approximately 71% of lung cancer, 42% of chronic respiratory diseases, 20% of global tuberculosis incidence and almost 10% of cardiovascular diseases. But the main issue of smokeless tobacco products has for long been disregarded.
According to Dr. Sheila Ndyanabangi, the smoking control focal point person at the ministry of Health, schoolkids are also consuming these products. This is because sometimes the products ingredients are written in foreign languages which may not be understood by the children or even adults.
There are two fundamental forms of smokeless tobacco products: snuff and chewing tobacco. The nicotine in the snuff is assimilated through the tissues of the mouth as it is placed between the cheek and gum.
Snuff is designed to be both “Smoke free” and “spit-free” and is manufactured as a cautious way to use tobacco products. Chewed tobacco comes along as long shores of tobacco leaves that are chewed by the user who after that time saliva out the brown liquid.
“Just like a person becomes addicted to smoking tobacco and becomes a chain smoker, so do these smokeless products, they make one addictive to the tar and nicotine in them,” Mugyenyi argued.
“There is a lot of illegal trade in the cigarettes industry and the fines of Shs 20,000 to Shs 30,000 stipulated in the statutory instrument of 2004 to prohibit smoking in public special areas are not involving enough and neither are they being urged,” Ndyanabangi concluded.