Nairobi County's Chief Public Health Officer Tom Michira has written to the head of the tobacco control unit, seeking to have the ban on shisha enforced.

In a document dated January 13 and seen by The Standard, Michira has directed the execution of the same and feedback given to his office.

"You are hereby instructed to take necessary enforcement action as anticipated under the Public Health Act, Cap 242, and the relevant tobacco control laws," he said in the letter.

In 2018, the then-Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Cleopa Mailu banned the importation, manufacture, advertising, and sale of shisha in Kenya.

Through a gazette notice, CS Mailu said any person who will contravene any provisions of the rules will be liable to the penalty contemplated in Section 163 of the Public Health Act.


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"No person shall import, manufacture, sell, offer for sale, use, advertise, promote, facilitate or encourage shisha smoking in Kenya," read part of the gazette notice.

Although a ban was imposed years ago, its enforcement has not been impactful since shisha is still in use in some entertainment joints and nightclubs.

Shisha includes tobacco products that may be flavoured or non-flavoured and are consumed using a single or multi-stemmed smoking instrument.

The instrument contains water or other liquid through which the smoke passes before reaching the smoker and whose syrup tobacco content includes molasses, honey vegetable, glycerol, and fruit flavours including apple, grape, lemon, and mint.

Shisha Ministry of Health Cleopa Mailu