Smoking ban starts in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya..

July 11, 2008 - Smoking ban starts in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya (a member of the FCTC) - they may be serious this time.. As of Wednesday, July 10, 2008 people who smoke in public in Kenya's capital Nairobi face a fine or up to six months in jail. Kenya's government has already implemented such bans in Mombasa and the Rift Valley town of Nakuru, saying it wants to cut the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. The authorities say some 8,000 Kenyans die every year from smoking. Nairobi town clerk John Gakuo told a news conference first-time offenders will either be fined 2,000 shillings (about $30) or be jailed for six months.

Repeat offenders face a bigger fine or up to nine months in prison. Small local pubs would be exempted, Gakuo said, but restaurants must provide separate smoking areas if they want to let their customers light up. Last year a Kenyan court suspended a smoking ban ordered by the Health Ministry after it was challenged by the Kenyan unit of British American Tobacco Plc (about 80% market share) and a local manufacturer (probably Mastermind Tobacco Limited - TW). The two companies estimated that they would lose more than $10 million each if the legislation was enforced. The new law bans the sale of cigarettes to people under 18 years and selling tobacco in a packet of less than 10 cigarettes. It also forbids promoting tobacco by sponsoring sports, cultural, educational or entertainment activities and branding of buildings other than those owned or leased by manufacturers. Smoking earns the Kenyan government about five billion shillings (76 million dollars or 49 million euro) a year in taxes, but costs five times as much in disease, disability and death, according to official figures. References: Kenyan capital Nairobi starts smoking ban by Victor Adar, Reuters, 7/11/2008; Kenyan smoking ban due to take effect: official by AFP,, 7/7/2008.

Related news brief: British American Tobacco (BAT) 100 years in Africa..

Click on image to enlarge..