Parliament has expressed its concerns over the use of tobacco among children below the age of 18, prompting it to task the government to provide a roadmap on how it will raise awareness about the problem. The Ministry of Health has been given three months to come up with a strategic plan on how it intends to raise awareness about the negative effects of tobacco and its prohibition among minors. The ministry is also set to present a plan on the awareness of dosage of tobacco recommended in the country in order to reduce its effects on consumers. The resolutions are part of the assessment report on the implementation of the policy on the monitoring of tobacco control in the country. The report was presented to the Chamber of Deputies by the Chairperson of the Committee of Social Affairs, Odette Uwamariya, during a virtual plenary session on July 15. While only people above 18 years are allowed to consume tobacco, Uwamariya said research shows that even those as young as 15 are also consuming it. In addition, some people are exposed to passive smoking, putting their health at greater risk. “There are people who consume cigarettes without regard to the presence of pregnant women or children,” said Uwamariya. According to MP Germaine Mukabalisa, some children are exposed to cigarette consumption at an early age in markets and boutiques. “Some boutiques display cigarettes under the shelf of consumer goods,” he said. This, according to Mukabalisa, influences children to believe that cigarette smoking is acceptable across all age groups. Among the solution, Mukabalisa proposes that the government tackles the promotion of tobacco use on social media platforms where the youth are easy prey. The heavy import duties imposed on tobacco have helped reduce cigarette shipments into the country, Uwamariya said without disclosing figures. The World Health Organisation estimates that tobacco use kills over 2,000 people a year in Rwanda. Globally, it states, 10.2 per cent of men and 2.2 per cent of women used tobacco daily in 2019. MPs have asked the government to designate public smoking areas.