More Than 8,100 Kenyans Die Of Tobacco-Related Diseases Every Year.

More Than 8,100 Kenyans Die Of Tobacco-Related Diseases. Photo Courtesy

“Commit To Quit”: 2021 Theme

This is no news that tobacco is extremely harmful to health and there are 5 million people who lose their lives due to tobacco every year. Today on World No Tobacco Day 2021 people take a step to spread awareness on the danger of tobacco and what ways this substance can harm one’s system. The day is annually observed on May 31 and was started by the World Health Organization.

Every year, more than 8,100 Kenyans die of tobacco-related diseases, while more than 220,000 children and more than 2,737,000 adults continue to use tobacco each day.

There is a need for Kenya to increase the size of their health warnings, from their current 30% to at least 50%, which is the required size of warnings under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

More Than 8,100 Kenyans Die Of Tobacco-Related Diseases. Photo Courtesy

As a Party to the FCTC, Kenya is obligated to implement strong national policies to reduce tobacco use, including large pictorial health warnings, bans on smoking in public places, bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, and increases in tobacco taxes and prices.

Earlier, an ITC survey highlighted the threat from menthol cigarettes, which are particularly popular in Kenya: about 1 in 5 smokers in Kenya who have a regular brand of cigarettes smoked menthols, higher than in most high-income countries.

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

Canada and the European Union have banned menthol cigarettes because menthol reduces the harshness of tobacco smoke, which makes it easier for children and young adults to take up smoking.

The 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.

This yearly celebration under the theme “Commit to Quit” informs the public on the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco companies, what World Health Organisation (WHO) is doing to fight the tobacco epidemic, and what people around the world can do to claim their right to health and healthy living and to protect future generations.

Felicity Gitonga

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