Shocking statistics on tobacco smoking in Kenya

chairGBSOver 8 billion sticks of cigarettes are smoked in Kenya every year, according to recent statistics from the World Health Organization ( WHO).

This represents an increase given the statistics indicate that over 6.4 billion sticks of cigarettes smoked in 2013 in the country despite sustained anti smoking campaign by civil groups.

Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance Chairman, Mr Joel Gitali said that despite the heath hazards cigarette smoking in the country has continued to increase a move blamed on the rise of disease like lung cancer, asthma and other respiratory disease.

He said cigarette smoking was costing the country about Sh40 billion money that could have been spent on other household needs that would improve the standard of living.

“This misplaced budgetary allocation leads to impoverished families and communities,”he said.

Figures released by the body indicate that since 2008 the prevalence of tobacco smoking in Kenya was estimated at 19 per cent for males and 2 per cent for females.

SecGBSCentral province is leading with 30.4 per cent, Eastern 26 per cent, Coast 22.6 per cent, Nairobi 17.1 per cent, North Eastern 15.6 per cent, Rift valley 14.3 per cent, Western 11.2 per cent and Nyanza 7.9per cent.

In the year 2009, the figure are for males only as most females do not disclose their tobacco use status due to social cultural inhibitions.

He said the Kenya Global Youth Tobacco Survey has also revealed that the number of school going children smoking was also in the rise.The rate of smoking among school going children went up by 77.8 per cent from 2001 to 2007. BY NGUMBAO KITHI (MOMBASA, KENYA: