SMOKING CAUTION

Civil society wants tobacco-free warnings in all institutions

In Summary

• In January, WHO boss Dr Tedros Adhanon said the government must use the strongest measures possible to protect citizens from tobacco use.

• KETCA chairman, Joel Gitali said the government has slowed down on ensuring that international and domestic tobacco policies were implemented.

A smoking zone area next to the general post office in Nairobi.
A smoking zone area next to the general post office in Nairobi.
Image: EZEKIEL AMINGÁ

The Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance has asked the Health Ministry to have ‘tobacco-free' warnings in all public and private institutions.

KETCA chairman, Joel Gitali on Monday said the government has slowed down on its mandate of ensuring that international and domestic tobacco policies were implemented.

“There is a rise in the violation of tobacco control policies by tobacco companies, vendors and consumers due to inadequate enforce,” Gitali said.

“Like laxity in inaugurating tobacco control board, failure to set up a tobacco control fund, regularization and enforcement of Shisha ban, and poor coordination of tobacco control at the Ministry of health.”

In a statement, Gitali said that some shisha parlours were associated with powerful people and could not be touched.

Patients in rehabs are allowed to smoke as they are aided to stop abusing alcohol and other drugs. There are no established ways of helping those who want to quit smoking.
KETCA chairman, Joel Gitali

The ministry should intensify campaigns against what is being termed as safe alternatives.

“These are harmful products being introduced into the market. The heat and not burn products, such as E-cigarettes,” he said.

Participants complained of reluctance by rehabilitation centre's and services to include tobacco addiction.

“We cannot achieve our Vision 2030 or the Big Four with a neglected area that touches on our development.”

In January, WHO boss Dr Tedros Adhanon said the government must use the strongest measures possible to protect citizens from tobacco use.

“Governments face a moral and legal imperative to use the strongest possible measures to protect their citizens from tobacco,” he said.

Tedros accused tobacco firms of consistently lying about how much damage their products cause.

Also, In March, Gitali condemned the launch of e-cigarettes and other tobacco alternatives that promote smoking.

A study recently published in Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health found vaping may have a "gateway effect" and lead young people to cigarettes.


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