Rwanda’s Parliament has ordered the Ministry of Health in the next three months to formulate a strategic plan on how it intends to raise awareness about the negative effects of tobacco and its prohibition among minors, reports The New Times.
Although one must be at least 18 years old to purchase or consume tobacco products, research indicates that those as young as 15 are also consuming them. Member of Parliament Germaine Mukabalisa noted that some children are exposed to cigarette consumption at an early age in markets and boutiques, which could influence children to believe that cigarette smoking is acceptable across all age groups.
Mukabalisa proposed that the government tackle the promotion of tobacco use on social media platforms where youth are present. Rwanda does have high cigarette import duties, which do reduce cigarette imports, according to Uwamariya. MPs have also recently asked the government to designate public smoking areas.