Tobacco cultivation was introduced in 1907 in Kenya and since then, trade in tobacco has grown immensely. This can be attributed to various issues including advertising, marketing and promotion of tobacco products. Currently, it is grown by about 20,000 small scale farmers on about 15,000 hectares of land majorly in Nyanza and Western Province and some parts of Central and Eastern Provinces.
The Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) in 2007 revealed that a fifth, 18.6% of the students smoke; 18.2% of boys and 18.2% of girls were reported to be smokers. When this study was previously done in 2001, only 10% of students smoked. This study confirms an increasing trend in tobacco use among youths and in particular in girls