Gitali: We are not out of the woods yet on fight against Tobacco Use

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The Chairman of Kenya Tobacco Control and Health Promotion Alliance Joel Gitali has reminded us that the war against tobacco is far from being won and as such we shouldn’t relent.

“As we continue with the Tobacco Free Farms project, that is for sure succeeding, we need to beware of the Tobacco industry’s ability to mutate and to continue making mega profits. Let’s not witness a situation whereby the government appears helplessly at the mercy of TI.

For now, there are pertinent questions;

  1. What makes it so hard for the government to clear the country of products that are aimed at destroying minors, and which aren’t sufficiently regulated? Whose responsibility is it?
  2. Why should we continue to witness high level impunity with the law being violated by criminals at will? Bans on TAPS and Shisha have been silently lifted. Where are those concerned?
  3. Our institutions of high learning are now looking for money in all ways. They are partnering with TI. This information is as clear as daylight. Those from whom action is expected are looking at the other side. We need action.

The CEO of a leading Tobacco Company expressed confidence that talks between the company and those in authority would see their products taxed favourably and the company’s new products given greenlight besides it’s manufacturing plant being licenced. Indeed the proposed budget has not increased taxes on harmful products. What’s next?

It’s unfortunate that with all the capacity that the country has, we are playing games with TI. We have some of the best TC experts globally. Our CSOs are highly regarded in the region. Resources resources, unless handled the Kenyan way, are there. We need and must answer these questions.”

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