The Rising Popularity of E-Cigarettes in Kenya and Concerns

The Rising Popularity of E-Cigarettes in Kenya and Concerns
Kenya's e-cigarette popularity stands at 5.8%, with 53% of users from Generation Z and 44% from millennials, according to local media.

According to reports from local Kenyan media, a recent medical study has revealed that the prevalence rate of e-cigarettes in Kenya is 5.8%. Amongst the users, 53% belong to Generation Z, while 44% belong to the millennial generation. The gender ratio stands at 7:3, with male users comprising 70% and female users constituting 30%.

According to a report in the health publication "Today's Medical News," e-cigarette manufacturers claim that their products can reduce the health risks associated with tobacco. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) emphasizes that e-cigarettes contain varying levels of nicotine and harmful substances. If children and adolescents consume nicotine, it can have detrimental effects on brain development and potentially lead to long-term consequences such as learning and anxiety disorders.

In response, the National Taxpayers Association (NTA) and other civil society organizations in Kenya are advocating for a heavy tax on e-cigarettes, with the aim of increasing tobacco taxes to 70%, in order to deter the proliferation of e-cigarettes.

The association further proposes expanding Kenya's online transaction tracking system to include e-cigarette products, thereby minimizing illegal trade to the maximum extent.

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