Kenya Crackdown on Illegal Nicotine and Unauthorized Drugs

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Kenya Crackdown on Illegal Nicotine and Unauthorized Drugs
Kenyan government cracks down on illegal nicotine products and unlicensed drugs nationwide to protect youth.

According to a report by The-star on February 28, the Kenyan government has announced a crackdown on illegal nicotine products and unauthorized drugs nationwide. Mary Muthoni, Chief Secretary of the Kenyan Ministry of Public Health, stated that this action will be carried out by a multi-departmental team, including the Tobacco Control Commission and the Drug and Poison Control Authority.


Musoni stated that there are many illegal nicotine products on the market that are destroying the lives of young people.


The Tobacco Control Committee and the Drug and Food Control Bureau will launch a large-scale crackdown to eliminate all illegal nicotine products, such as oral tobacco and e-cigarettes.


In August 2023, health advocates in Kenya have issued a warning about the resurgence of highly addictive nicotine products that were previously banned by the Ministry of Health. Four civil society organizations conducted an investigation in the capital city of Nairobi and found that these products do not comply with the Tobacco Control Act and its regulations. They are calling on the Ministry of Health to crack down on these products, including nicotine pouches that are widely sold in retail stores, as well as e-cigarette liquids, e-cigarettes, and various forms of smokeless tobacco that are commonly sold on the streets.


Thomas Lindi, National Coordinator of the Tobacco Control and Health Alliance, stated that nicotine addiction may lead to cardiovascular damage. "Recent research and evidence have shown that oral nicotine pouches carry serious health risks." He added, "These products often come in a variety of flavors, making them attractive to young people and children. This actually increases the likelihood that those who may not have considered using tobacco or nicotine would try ingesting nicotine.


Mussolini stated that illegal vendors around schools are secretly selling such products to children attending school. She issued a stern warning to those selling illegal drugs, stating that "their days are numbered."


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