NAIROBI: Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia now wants the High Court to dismiss a case challenging the implementation of new tobacco regulations.
Mr Macharia Monday said that the 2014 Tobacco Regulations, which include placing gory images on cigarette packets, were put in place in consultation with industry players.
The Health boss said the measures would help save lives as required by the Tobacco Act 2007.
"The regulations have been enacted in order to address the negative effects of tobacco use, which have impacted negatively on the lives of the people of Kenya, the economy and the environment," he said.
Macharia said Kenya ranks among the countries with the highest number of tobacco users. About 2.5 million adults use tobacco in Kenya, representing 11.6 per cent of the adult population. Out of every five men, one is an active user.
He said close to half of Kenya's population (48 per cent of children between the age of 13 and 15 and non-smokers) were exposed to second hand smoke in public places and had a 20-30 per cent probability of contracting lung cancer. British American Tobacco's chief legal officer Simukai Munjanganja said the cost of compliance was huge and would lead to losses.