Senators now want e-cigarettes, sheesha outlawed in Kenya

Senators are now pushing for a ban on electronic cigarettes or strict regulations on the use of the substance.

In a motion tabled by Nominated Senator Catherine Mumma, the senators raised concerns over abuse of nicotine and the increasing usage of e-cigarettes by underage users mostly students in primary and secondary schools.

The Senate wants the government to establish rules to govern the production, sale, advertising and consumption of synthetic nicotine, and control the illicit trade of counterfeit products.

"We are worried these vapes and sheesha have become the most abused e-cigarettes," said Mumma.

In their call to have regulation of e-cigarettes, senators claim that the Ministry of Health is sleeping on its job and has not implemented the Tobacco Control Act fully.

The Tobacco Control Act defines key terms and covers topics including, restrictions on public smoking,  tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, packaging and labeling of tobacco products.

According to the Senate, Section 2 of the Act does not contemplate non-tobacco products and therefore lacks restrictions on the use, advertising, promotion and sponsorship, or packaging and labelling of synthetic nicotine in the form of e-cigarettes resulting in the increase in popularity and consumption of e-cigarettes among the youth including minor children.

The senate says that sheesha has now become a favourite smoke for young children.

"You find young kids are having sheesha because the flavour is sweet to them," said Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale.

"You go to schools and you find the rate of indiscipline has hit the roof it is because of these e-cigarettes that look like pens," Nyamira Senator Okong'o Omogeni added.

The Senate is now awaiting a legislative proposal to tame vapes and sheesha.


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