REPUBLIC OF KENYA

Health stakeholders launch sensitization campaign ahead of World No Tobacco Day

The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Tobacco Control Board has launched a nationwide sensitization campaign on the dangers of tobacco and associated products ahead of the World No Tobacco Day.

The nationwide awareness sensitization exercise is a prelude to the World No Tobacco Day which is commemorated on 31st of May every year. The day, which was created by member states of the World Health Organization in 1987 to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and preventable death and disease it causes, seeks to raise awareness and enlightening the public on the dangers of tobacco use.
Phase one of the sensitization campaign covers 25 counties clustered into 8 regions converging in Mombasa, Garissa, Nyeri, Nakuru, Kakamega, Machakos, Kisii, and Eldoret
Among those targeted in the campaign include County secretaries, County Executive Committee Members, Directors of health, County public health officers, County clinical services, County commissioners, County police commanders, those in charge of County inspectorates, County directors of education, Chief magistrates, Chairs of health committees at the county assemblies, County Attorneys and County assembly clerks.

Speaking during a sensitization workshop in Kilifi, County Chief Executive Officer Charles Karisa said spreading awareness around anti-tobacco use remains the most effective tool to stop the use of tobacco and related products in the country.
“Smoking remains the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the developed world. There is need for increased awareness of the enormity of the problem and the benefits of smoking cessation,” He observed.
The tobacco industry has developed and continues to aggressively market new and emerging products such as electronic cigarettes, tobacco pouches for sucking, snuffing, and vaporized products among others.
To respond to these threats, state parties signed and ratified the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC) 2004. Kenya ratified the convention in May 2004; enacted the Tobacco Control Act (TCA) 2007 and the Tobacco Control Regulations in 2014 to domesticate the global convention.
One of the state obligations under the convention and the Act is to promote public awareness on health consequences, addictive nature, mortal threat posed by tobacco consumption, exposure to smoke and harmful effects of tobacco growing and handling through a comprehensive national wide education and information campaign.

 

According to the World Health Organization, the tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats, claiming more than 8 million lives across the globe each year. Over seven million of these deaths are as a result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.