Many Kenyans (66%) have a negative opinion about smoking and would like it controlled to prevent exposure to tobacco smoke and through awareness creation on health effects of tobacco use and taxation amongst other strategies. This study found that Kenyan smokers’ perception and attitude about tobacco taxation is encouraging but needs to be strengthened. While over 80% of adults supported tobacco tax increases and 61% had previously considered changing their smoking habits because of price, only 33.7% indicated that they had considered changing their smoking habits following the implementation of the Excise Duty Act, 2015. This is a clear indication that the rate proposed in the Act is not adequate to trigger the intended reaction from tobacco users. This study therefore recommends:
- Protection of gains achieve so far, including the current tax structure under the Excise Duty Act, 2015 (single/ uniform tax structure applicable to all tobacco products).
- Progressively increase tobacco excise tax rates towards the WHO recommended 70% of retail selling price
- Elimination of ‘Pro- poor policies’ in relation to taxation of tobacco products to protect low income earners from the disproportionate burden of accompanying health costs.
- Equal treatment of all tobacco products to avoid brand switching
- Strengthening of enforcement of ban in single sticks
- Further research to better understand the behavioral changes of smoke
To access the full report, click the link below…