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Anti-tobacco lobby welcomes favourable court ruling on cigarette pack branding

Member of the Alliance, Emma Wanyonyi, says the regulations will for instance ensure players in the tobacco industry take responsibility and discourage the use of tobacco through the use of pictorial warnings/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 20 — Tobacco control advocates in the country have applauded the court’s ruling made on Friday in favour of the enforcement of  the Tobacco Control Act 2014.

Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance says the regulations will be very critical in realising a tobacco-free country.

Member of the Alliance, Emma Wanyonyi, says the regulations will for instance ensure players in the tobacco industry take responsibility and discourage the use of tobacco through the use of pictorial warnings.

“Some companies have already started putting the pictures, which is a good thing. We are still waiting for others to follow suite.”

Companies that have already put warning pictures on their cigarette packs include British American Tobacco (BAT).

Industry players will also be required by the Act to contribute to the solatium compensatory fund which will see to the compensation of those affected by tobacco.

“Companies are forced to contribute a certain percentage to a fund from which sensitisation on tobacco effects and general tobacco control activities will be done,” Wanyonyi said.

The Act will also protect citizens against the involuntary exposure to second hand tobacco smoke.

Tobacco Control Regulations, 2014 were gazetted on December 5, 2014. They were however not effected after players who include British American Tobacco opposed them through a legal challenge. Early last year, the process was repeated only for it to fail again.

Last week on Friday – February 17 – a three judge bench however upheld the judgement made at the High Court thus giving the Tobacco Control Regulation 2014 a clean bill of health.

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