Tobacco Control Board of Kenya has begun a campaign regarding the effects and sensitizing people against cigarette smoking in learning institutions.
MS Nancy Gachoka the board’s chairperson said that the campaign will be done in 24 counties where teams will enlighten youth on dangers of drug abuse.
The counties that are targeted are Vihiga, Kisii, Kakamega, Baringo, Mandera, Bungoma, Nakuru, Wajir, Nyamira, Nyeri, Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale, Murang’a, Kitui, Machakos, Makueni, Uasin Gishu, Trans-Nzoia and Nandi.
Ms Gachoka said smoking was mostly among Kenyan youths in schools and outside while presiding over a one-day workshop in Machakos.
She also said that global statistics indicate that tobacco consumption kills eight million people in a year. She added that 80,000 to 100,000 youth engage themselves in cigarette smoking daily and that half of the tobacco related deaths occurred to people aged between 30 and 60
She said that during the campaign they have experienced some resistance from certain interests. But promised that this won’t stop them from achieving their goal.
Ms Gachoka blamed parents who sent the youth to go and buy them cigarettes because they are the key role who encourage them to smoke. She also added and said the other most dangerous scenario is when some parents smoke cigarettes in their houses before the children, who unfortunately inhale the harmful smoke.
She said that in schools cartels collude with students to sneak in drugs and lure innocent children. The cartels take advantage when schools are being opened where they interact with the students to sell the drugs to them which leads to many school dropouts, burdening parents and government.
She urged government to warn manufacturers who advertise cigarettes.
Ms Dorcas Kiptui, a Ministry of Health programmes officer, discouraged tobacco use to reduce cases of cancer, bronchitis, asthma, and other respiratory complications.