Arua police, in collaboration with officials from the Ministry of Health, the Department of Tobacco Control Division, and Arua City health inspectors, arrested 38 smokers in sting operations against tobacco abusers.
Authorities stated that the purpose of this weekend operation, which targeted primarily shisha smokers, was to enforce tobacco control laws in the West Nile city communities.
"This time the operation targeted mainly Shisha smoking, and the arrested people included those found smoking Shisha as well as the proprietors of Shisha business. They were arrested for being in possession of banned tobacco products like Shisa and smoking in public places contrary to tobacco control Act 2015, Part 3, sections 11, 12 and 16," said Josephine Angucia, the West Nile police regional spokesperson.
Although such operations began in Arua City Central Division, where vice is prevalent, Angucia stated that they will be expanded to other areas of Greater Arua and the West Nile Region in general.
Amongst the items recovered included; 20 Shisa pots, 18 shisha pipes, 11 tins of Shisha ingredients and 5 sachets of Jirack molases, which are all exhibited. The suspects are being detained at Arua central business division
Tobacco Control Act 2015 contains the laws, guidelines and punishment for contravention. Before the operation, police and the team had joint radio talkshows on Tobacco Control laws to create awareness among the communities of West Nile Region.
Individual punishment for a person who contravens the law is a fine not less than 480,000 shillings, and or imprisonment for not less than one year or both.