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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Lobby decries high consumption of tobacco products in Kenya 

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s anti-tobacco lobby on Monday called for the enforcement of a 2007 law that bans smoking in public places amid an increase in tobacco use in the country.

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),” Lindi said.

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 tobacco manufacturers.

“We still lack serious awareness campaigns and cessation programs that are key to reducing the consumption of tobacco products,” Lindi said.

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 litigation processes.

“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.

 

   
  NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Joel Gitali, Kenya Tobacco Control alliance (KTCA) Chairman delivers his speech during the Tobacco stakeholders forum in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, Sept. 18, 2017. KTCA advocate and support strong tobacco control policies and implementation frameworks at both national and county levels of governance. Kenya has 2.5 million adult tobacco users and 14% of Kenyans are exposed to second hand smoke at home. Xinhua/Charles Onyango

About 600,000 of these deaths occur as a result of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke.

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