Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death and disease, killing about 6 million people annually.
About 600,000 of these deaths occur as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke. It is projected that
tobacco use will kill 1 billion people in the 21st century, with 80% of deaths occurring in low- and
middle-income countries (LMICs). The largest expected regional increase globally will be in the African
region, where smoking prevalence is expected to increase from 15.8% in 2010 to 21.9% in 2030 – a
difference of nearly 39%. Without strong tobacco control measures in African countries, tobacco-related
deaths and illnesses are certain to increase, with devastating effects on public health, development, and
The WhO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and its guidelines provide an evidence-based
framework for the development and implementation of effective tobacco control policies. Kenya signed
and ratified the FCTC in June 2004, and the treaty became effective as of February 27, 2005. Kenya’s 2007
Tobacco Control Act came into force in July 2008, providing the legal framework for the implementation of
FCTC policies in Kenya.
In 2010, the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (the ITC Project) at the university of
Waterloo partnered with the International Institute for Legislative Affairs, the Kenya Medical Research
Institute, the Ministry of health, and the university of Nairobi to create the ITC Kenya Survey. The Survey
was conducted from October to December 2012 among 1,427 tobacco users and 571 non-users aged 15
years and older to determine the prevalence of tobacco use in Kenya and to evaluate the effectiveness of
tobacco control policies in Kenya.
The ITC Kenya Wave 1 (2012) Survey findings provide evidence that the Act is effective in some policy areas,
such as curbing direct forms of tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship, and providing protection
in some public places from the harms of secondhand smoke. however, the implementation of the Act
requires strengthening and improved enforcement to address weaknesses across key policy domains of the
FCTC, including health warnings, tobacco taxation, and public education.
The Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2014 (GATS) findings suggest that policy weaknesses identified by the
ITC Kenya Survey have not been resolved and public support for stronger policies continues to be strong.
The ITC Survey found that about three-quarters (76%) of tobacco users are in favour of a ban on tobacco
products within 10 years if the government provided assistance such as cessation clinics. They are willing
to pay more for tobacco products as 70% of Kenyans, including 60% of smokers, support an increase on
cigarette taxes. GATS findings indicate that support in 2014 is even stronger as 80% of adults favoured
increasing taxes on tobacco products. Overall, these findings are favourable for stronger tobacco control
regulations to bring Kenya into compliance with the FCTC and its guidelines.
Download below the PDF versions of the Full Report and the Executive Summary