Today, at Laico Regency, the Ministry of Health launched the release of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) executive summary. It is the first comprehensive survey on tobacco use conducted in Kenya.
GATS is a global standard for systematically monitoring adult tobacco use whether smoke or smokeless. The survey also tracks the key indicators for Tobacco Control.
According to the survey released today, Tobacco use among adults is at 2.5 Million. with 19.1% of this population being men and 4.5% being women. 11.6% of the overall adults use smoke or smokeless tobacco.
On the other hand, 5 in 10 smokers have attempted to quit smoking in the past one year. of those who tried to quit 7 in 10 smokers did not get assistance.
About 0.7 million adults were exposed to smoke at the workplace, while up to 3.1 million got exposed to tobacco smoke at home. Restaurants, academic institutions and other social places also accounted for 5.7 million adult exposure to tobacco smoke.
GATS is the first comprehensive survey on tobacco use conducted in Kenya. Some of the findings from the survey include:
- Prioritizing tobacco control by enhancing both human and financial resources for effective tobacco control interventions as stipulated in the Tobacco Control Act 2007
- Developing strategies to establish tobacco cessation programs to support tobacco smokers planning to quit.
- Developing health promotion and communication strategies to address and raise health awareness at the county and community levels.
- Raising awareness on the social, environmental, economic, and health effects of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke at institutions of higher learning. Educating people, especially those in rural settings on the dangers of smokeless tobacco.
- Enhancing enforcement of smoke-free work environment; pictorial health warnings on tobacco packaging; and of the Tobacco Control Law provision on prohibiting sale of single stick cigarette.
- Increasing import taxes on all tobacco products.