Assessing knowledge and practice of tobacco retailers around primary and secondary schools, on selling tobacco products to and by minors in Kigali Rwanda
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University of Rwanda, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Rwanda
Center for Tobacco Control in Africa, Uganda, Uganda
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A417
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Tobacco is a major public health problem since decades. Given the current pattern of tobacco use globally it is estimated 250 million who are alive today, would die prematurely because of tobacco and mostly in developing countries such as Rwanda. While most tobacco control laws prohibit retail sales to minors, these restrictions are often not enforced. Failing to enforce minimum age laws not only wastes a constructive opportunity to reduce youth smoking but also tells kids that the laws need not be taken seriously, which undermines other tobacco-reduction efforts in the media, schools, and communities. This study aims to provide an assessment on the knowledge and practice on selling tobacco products to and by minors around schools.

This study was a descriptive cross-sectional study among tobacco retailers surrounding the primary and secondary schools and policy implementers in Nyarugenge District Kigali Rwanda. A total number of 268 retailer outlets located within 1000 meters from the schools were sampled. This was augumented with quantitative assessments with policy makers.

The majority (78.2 %) of them has a little knowledge of the existing tobacco control law in Rwanda, specifically the law on selling tobacco products to and by minors. Knowledge was equally low among the policy makers, on the article, citing lack of regulations and guidelines to enfore the Tobacco Control Act. Regarding practice, 42.5% of the retailers reported to be selling tobacco products to minors and 3% retailers were using minors to sell tobacco products.

This study revealed a failure to enforce the current tobacco control law in Rwanda in general and specifically with regard to selling tobacco products to and by minors. There are no regulations to guide implementation of the Act. In addition, knowledge and practice on selling tobacco products to and by minors is still very low.

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