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Home / Health & Science

Report: 220,000 children use tobacco each day

HEALTH & SCIENCEBy JAEL MBOGA | Mon,May 31 2021 13:13:32 EAT
By JAEL MBOGA | Mon,May 31 2021 13:13:32 EAT

 

Over two-thirds of Kenyan smokers incorrectly believe that menthols are less harmful than cigarettes. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

More than 220,000 children and more than 2.7 million adults use tobacco each day, a study has shown.

The International Tobacco Control report released today by the Health ministry states that more than 8,100 Kenyans die of tobacco-related diseases every year.

“Prevention and cessation services are important to save the lives of Kenyans,” the Health ministry said on Twitter.

Today is World No Tobacco Day which is observed on May 31. The 2021 campaign theme is ‘Commit To Quit’.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 70 per cent of the 1.3 billion tobacco users worldwide lack access to the tools they need to quit successfully.

The survey was part of the 29-country ITC Project, which since 2002, has evaluated policies of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), a global health treaty that Kenya ratified in 2004.

Over two-thirds of Kenyan smokers incorrectly believe that menthols are less harmful than cigarettes.

The ITC study on the impact of Canada’s menthol ban added that Canada and the European Union have banned menthol cigarettes.

“About one in five smokers in Kenya who have a regular brand of cigarettes smoked menthols, higher than in most high-income countries.”

The study says menthol reduces the harshness of tobacco smoke, which makes it easier for children and young adults to take up smoking.

The ITC Kenya Wave 1-2 National Report calls for Kenya to join more than 30 countries and jurisdictions that have banned menthol cigarettes, including Canada, Senegal, Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, and the EU.

The ITC survey also highlighted the threat from menthol cigarettes, which are particularly popular in Kenya.

The survey also found that even smokers support stronger health warnings and other tobacco control policies.

 

The survey also found that even smokers support stronger health warnings and other tobacco control policies. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

About 73 per cent of smokers are in favour of more health information on cigarette health warnings and 84 per cent are in favour of more health information on smokeless tobacco warnings.

There is also a need for Kenya to increase the size of their health warnings, from their current 30 per cent to at least 50 per cent, which is the required size of warnings under the FCTC, the report says.

The report found that the introduction of picture warnings significantly increased the effectiveness of warnings.

There is a need for Kenya’s existing ban on packs containing fewer than 12 cigarettes to be more strongly enforced.

The report described a challenge to reducing tobacco use is the high rate of single cigarettes.

The 2018 survey found that 82 per cent of smokers reported last purchasing single cigarettes rather than a pack, about the same as in 2012.

The report described a challenge to reducing tobacco use is the high rate of single cigarettes.

The 2018 survey found that 82 per cent of smokers reported last purchasing single cigarettes rather than a pack, about the same as in 2012.

Smokeless tobacco is the primary form of tobacco used by Kenyan women.

The survey found that only 12 per cent of smokeless tobacco users reported noticing health warnings “often” on smokeless tobacco.

The ITC Kenya report also identified the need for the Government of Kenya to strengthen tobacco control efforts.

The study also identified the need for the Government of Kenya to strengthen tobacco control efforts.

It found that awareness of the warnings increased from 64 per cent to 72 per cent of smokers; thinking about the health risks of smoking increased from 28 per cent to 43 per cent of smokers.

Smokers who said that health warnings made them “a lot” more likely to quit increased from 24 per cent to 38 per cent.

The Health ministry has partnered with the WHO and Nacada to ensure that callers have access to advice, toll-free quitlines, mobile & digital cessation services, nicotine replacement therapies & other tools that are proven to help people quit.

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