Joel Gitali chairman KETCA

Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance (KETCA) has denounced plans to introduce new smoke-free cigarettes and instead urged the government to withhold the issuance of the license.

KETCA made this plea two weeks after the British American Tobacco (BAT) announced the plans to bring in Modern Oral Nicotine into the country.

In contention, KETCA maintains that there is not enough evidence to the prove that smoke-free cigarettes are less harmful compared to common smoke cigarettes.

The smoke-free cigarettes come in the form of pellets and they are not puffed out but are ingested instead. They come as alternatives to smoking instead of aiding addicts to quit the act.

“Those who are smoking are supposed to quit, not shift. This means tobacco companies are only out to keep their clientele,” said Tobacco alliance chair Joel Gitali.

BAT had insisted that the oral pouches are safe but as Gitali points out, the tobacco ingestions have been linked to causing oral and esophageal cancers.

The Tobacco alliance urged the government to step in and look into the issue, stressing that the nicotine pouches should be subjected to the same regulations as the actual cigarettes.

International Legislative Affairs Chief Executive Officer Emma Wanyonyi, called upon the BAT to reveal the ingredients of the nicotine pouches.

“The addictive nature of products is still there, so even for those who attempt to quit, the effects are still there,” Wanyonyi added.

Nicotine pouches are only advantageous as compared to normal cigars as they cannot cause lung cancer as a result of tar absence, teeth decolorization or even bad breath to users or users to be.

World Health Organization WHO had revealed a report about the cigarette smoking prevalence which indicated that there are about 1.1 billion smokers worldwide, around 80 per cent of whom live in low-and middle-income countries and eight percent of the population being adults.

By Fred Azelwa.