Monday the 29th February 2016, the judgement on whether to have the Tobacco Control Regulations 2014 was to be made. However, it was conveyed that the ruling was not yet ready and a later date was to be set for the ruling.
In deed, justice delayed is justice denied. More and more young people are getting recruited into smoking. Most of these young people are oblivious of the trap they are getting into. The Tobacco Control Regulations 2014 is meant to help reinforce the Tobacco Control Act of 2007 and compel the Tobacco Manufactures to make known the devastating effects and conditions people who smoke are getting into through pictorial health warnings. However, the regulations have not seen the light of the day due to a legal challenge posed by BAT Kenya, whose core business is to make profits by killing the users who they purport are their customers.
Although such delays of justice are not new to Kenya, there is a common trend especially when it comes to tobacco control related policies. Before the passage of Tobacco Control Act 2007, there were deliberate delays sponsored by the Tobacco Industry. In fact, the then members of parliament were captured in one of the dailies having a wonderful time at the Kenyan Coast courtesy of Tobacco Industry. That notwithstanding, we want to take it in good faith that the delay is as explained.
As Tobacco Control Advocates in Kenya, the war is far from over. Though we are optimistic that justice for the Kenyan public will finally prevail. And the law will protect the health, lives and the interest of 40 Million Kenyans as opposed to a few individuals who are only interested in profits and care less about the health of the people and environment.
The passage of the Tobacco Control Regulations 2014 is inevitable. No matter how long it will take, the health of Kenyans must be protected at all cost.