The Ministry of Health has issued a fresh warning against the practice of smoking in public.
In a communiqué, the ministry reminded Rwandan citizens that “smoking in public is prohibited by the law,” noting that there had been a laxity in implementing the law that was enacted in 2013.
“It has been noticed that most of the hotels, bars and restaurants have not abided with the mentioned law, it is in this regard that the Ministry of Health reminds hotels, bars and restaurant owners to the law,” read the communiqué in part.
In Rwanda, Law n°14bis of 08/04/2013, article 11 concerning protection of non-smokers from environmental tobacco smoke that affects people’s health; prohibits smoking in public place including premises meant for work.
These include the courtroom and surroundings, factories, cinema halls, theatres and video houses, health facilities, restaurants, hotels and bars, children’s homes or areas of residential houses which are used for childcare activity or for schooling or tutoring.
“The Ministry of Health further requests hotels, bars and restaurant owners to put visible warning signs of 50x50cm informing and restricting smokers that smoking in any given public area in their premises is strictly prohibited,” the communiqué further read.
The ministry promised to sanction Rwandans that don’t comply with the law, as it called for the collaboration of Rwanda National Police and Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority in the enforcement.