× Digital News Videos Africa Health & Science Opinion Columnists Education Lifestyle Cartoons Moi Cabinets Arts & Culture Gender Planet Action Podcasts E-Paper Tributes Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Jobs Games Crosswords Sudoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS
×
VAS

ELECTION 2022

Will Vatican cigarette sale ban trigger war on tobacco use in Kenya?

OPINION
By Robert Amalemba Waswani | Nov 13th 2017 | 2 min read
Pope Francis Photo:Courtesy

To tell you the truth, Pope Francis’ voice and action of banning cigarrete (smoking) at the Vatican is a timely move that will boost the war on Tobacco consumption. Kenya has a large number of Christians and particularly Catholic believers who take seriously the words of their spiritual head.

Most churches have been holding a liberal view of Tobbacco but the fact that the Pope has come out to speak will help in the fight against Tobacco use.

It is instructive to note that involuntary exposure (of non-smokers) to second-hand tobacco smoking, which is common in Kenya, is partly responsible for the growing number of non-communicable diseases such as cancer, which kills about 28,000 people every year.

We at Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance (KETCA) will definitely use the Pope’s stand to push our preventive and cessation campaigns against consumption of Tobacco laced products.

I am aware that emerging tobacco-laced products such as Shisha and e-cigarettes are the new fad in town but with the Pontiff’s voice, we are more than reenergised to deal with controlling their consumption.

We have the goodwill message from the Pope to talk to those who grow and sell Tobacco products to about 2.5 million adults and 1.5 million youths who use tobacco. I also believe after the Pope’s stand, our government will get thecourage to enforce the Tobacco control Act, which was enacted 10 years ago but has been subjected to endless court battles by people interested in selling Tobacco.

 

The ban on cigarette sale by the Pope in the Vatican is another move that will start and end in the Vatican. I think the message has not reached many people across the globe including in Kenya so that the ban can be adopted.

For example, how many churches amplified the Pope’s ban in yesterday’s services? I know of very many priests in the churches in Kenya who smoke and it is pitiable to imagine that these are the people who are expected to send the message to their flock who smoke.

The Pope was also not categorical on how Tobacco causes death and left a big doubt on his pronouncement. Kenya is a third-world country where generations have grown seeing their grandmothers and grandfathers smoke to very old age and it will be hard to convince them that tobacco kills.

Perhaps the Pope will have to demonstrate to the world and Kenya in particular that his pronouncement worked by giving us figures of reduced percentages of tobacco consumption at the Vatican after his ban.

Tobacco has its own trouble but the better way to go about it is through making laws to curb or control consumption but not through religious pronounce.

In a country like Kenya where Christians often break biblical rules at will, it is likely that the Pope’s ban will be ignored.

 

Share this story
Order by police has no basis in law, James Orengo responds to order to call off NASA rally
Nairobi County Police Commander Japheth Koome on Sunday, November 12 claimed that National Super Alliance (NASA) leaders did not have permission to hold a rally
When Njonjo almost resigned over coffee smugglers
Known as the era of black gold, it began in 1976 when Ugandan farmers decided to sell their coffee in the private market.

.
RECOMMENDED NEWS

;