Is the 2014 Tobacco control Act a blessing in disguise?

By Joshua Odongo

“Cigarette smoking is harmful to your health, No smoking, Smoking area” are some of the signs we come across either in the road, in hotels and restaurants or on a cigarette pack but the fundamental question remains, is the government committed towards regulating it’s use? 2014 Tobacco control Act constitutes regulations justifiable in accordance with Article 24 of the constitution hence the need to balance public health against NB intellectual property rights. The regulations seek to push the cigarette manufacturers into contributing around 2 percent of their earning to support compensation for adverse effects of tobacco use, they will also have to print and publish clear graphic images on their packaging with the sole intention of cautioning the public against tobacco use. However the implementation of the regulations which were to take effect in December 2014 has been delayed by a case involving BAT.
The regulations will be very critical in realizing a tobacco-free country admits Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance.
Although there is disagreement about if certain tobacco products should be controlled or not, there should be agreement that new regulations should apply to products moving forward, and not retroactively
The guidelines will ensure players in the tobacco industry take responsibility and discourage the use of tobacco through the use of pictorial warnings.
It is a good thing that some companies have already started putting the pictures. We hope that others will follow suite.
British American Tobacco (BAT) led companies that have already put warning pictures on their cigarette packs.
2017 is a significant year for tobacco control and public health in Kenya. We mark 10 years since the enactment of the Tobacco Control Act this 2017, which was assented into law on September 27, 2007 and commenced on October 8, 2007. This triumph did not come easy, but was a result of years of struggle against heavy interference by the Tobacco Industry. Several years before that, on June 25, 2004, Kenya became one of first countries to sign and ratify the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco tobacco farmer in Moding Location, Teso North spraying his tobacco./
This year is a significant one for tobacco control and public health in Kenya. In 2017, we mark 10 years since the enactment of the Tobacco Control Act, which was assented into law on September 27, 2007 and commenced on October 8, 2007. This achievement did not come easy, but was a result of years of struggle against heavy interference by the Tobacco Industry (TI). Some years before that, on June 25, 2004, Kenya became one of first countries to sign and ratify the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco.
Control (WHO- FCTC) – the first public health treaty under the auspices of the WHO – on the same day! This was a great show of commitment by Kenyan government to the protection of public health.
Studies show that over six million people die from tobacco use every year, the majority of them in their most productive years; and in low and middle-income countries.
Tobacco use is a major risk deadly diseases infectious disease like tuberculosis and lower respiratory infections.
It is on this background that the implementation of the WHO-FCTC is included in the sustainable development goals (SDGs) adopted in 2015. In reality, it is recognized as one of the “means of implementation” to reach the overall health goal (SDG 3) and a target on non-communicable diseases.

The writer, Hon. Odongo Onono is a former Kenya Deputy presidential candidate 2013 elections
Facebook: cde Joshua odongo onono Twitter:@joshuaoonono

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