Thomas Lindi, coordinator of Kenya
Tobacco Control Alliance (KTCA), said health burden
rising by the day due to tobacco-related causes.
Lindi told a stakeholders meeting in
Nairobi that tobacco smoking remains a challenge among
low- and middle-income Kenyans despite having policies
and regulations in place.
“Policymakers need to put in place
measures to curb the tobacco menace to help reduce
the effects of non-communicable diseases (NCDs),”
According to government reports, NCD’s
kill about 28,000 people in Kenya every year. Tobacco
use and involuntary exposure to second-hand tobacco
smoke is partly responsible for the growing number of
non-communicable diseases, such as cancer.
Lindi attributed current rise of
cancer and heart-related ailments in the country to
active consumption and second-hand smoke.
He observed that it is unfortunate
that since the Tobacco Control Act came into force in
2007, nothing has been done to reduce advertisements by
“We still lack serious awareness
campaigns and cessation programs that are key to
reducing the consumption of tobacco products,” Lindi
Joel Gitali, the chairman of KTCA,
said the tobacco industry and its allies have
continuously used various strategies and tactics to
discredit, delay and derail the implementation of
tobacco control policies through legislative and
“The government needs to join forces
with stakeholders in educating the public against
tobacco consumption,” he said.
According to the World Health
Organization (WHO), tobacco use is known to cause over 6
million deaths globally each year.