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“LYFT Registration Is Illegal” Kagwe Declares

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Registration of nicotine pouches LYFT illegal, Kagwe declares

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe has declared the registration of nicotine pouches popularly known as LYFT illegal and wants them deregistered. The product has been gaining popularity since being introduced in the market late last year. The product is sold over the counter and is easily found in supermarkets and local shops.

In a letter to the Pharmacy and Poisons Board CEO Fred Siyoi, Kagwe said the licensing of the pouches by the board was done contrary to the provisions of Section 25 of the Pharmacy and Poisons Act CAP 224.

The poisons board had registered them as a pharmaceutical drug.
“The nicotine pouches neither meet the descriptions of ‘Part I Poison’ nor “Part II poison’ as prescribed in the Act,” the letter reads in part.

“Further, the manner in which the product is sold to the public does not meet the provisions of Section 23 of CAP 244 as required,” it adds.

The CS further notes that market surveillance has revealed that the product is dispensed in automatic vending machines contrary to the law.

“In view of the above, therefore, you are required to furnish the ministry with a comprehensive report on the criteria used and circumstances leading to the registration and licensing of the product under the Pharmacy and Poisons Act.”

Many users reveal that it gives a feeling of being high in a very short span between placing it in the mouth and the time it takes effect. The effects can be further heightened if one has been drinking alcohol.

Even with the continued use of the LYFT, BAT has always maintained that the product is a tobacco-free modern oral nicotine pouch and is meant for the adult population.

But Anti-tobacco lobby groups led by the Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance have always protested the registration of the product by the board, saying the product is causing serious addiction to the youth.

Last year, in August parents, called upon the government to ban the product introduced by a tobacco firm over concerns that it is being abused by children.

Felicity Gitonga

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