Tobacco use in all its forms is a major public health problem worldwide and it is the single most preventable cause of morbidity and mortality in humansDavis RM, Smith R. Addressing the most impertant preventable cause of death. BMJ 1991, 303:732-733.
Globally, tobacco continues to kill more than 7 million people each year, which includes more than 800,000 passive smokers who die from involuntary exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke. Unfortunately, 80% of these deaths occur in low-and-middle-income countries, such as Kenya, that are still grappling with communicable diseases.
The launch of the National Tobacco Control Strategic Plan 2019 – 2023 ushers in a renewed fight against tobacco menace in the country and sets a roadmap for the realization of a Tobacco-Free Kenya.
The plan is aligned with the World Health Organization’s MPOWER strategies and sets out three key pillars that are aimed at:
- Demand reduction
- Supply reduction
- Governance and coordination of tobacco control in the country
The National strategy clearly outlines the role of various actors in ensuring the underlying vision of a tobacco-free Kenya is achieved. The civil society organizations (CSOs), which plays a complementary role is set out to:
- Raise alarms on malpractices in tobacco control activities
- Ensure accountability at all levels
- Advocate on various TC related issues
- Carry out sensitization programmes with target groups
- Provide professional and technical support
- Generate evidence for advocacy
- Engage communities at different levels
- Support the development of legislation
- Conduct public health education
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