The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed support for Kenya’s proposed plan to ban e-cigarettes and nicotine pouches, citing “warning evidence” of their harmful health effects, as reported by the Kenya Star on December 14.
In September 2022, Senator Catherine Mumma proposed a motion to either ban or tightly regulate e-cigarettes and other new nicotine delivery products. The motion was supported by other senators who highlighted the growing use of e-cigarettes among minors and students, as well as the widespread abuse of nicotine, posing a threat to society. Despite the proven harms associated with these products, they are openly displayed in Kenyan stores and heavily promoted on social media platforms.
The World Health Organization refuted claims made by supporters of nicotine products that these products can help traditional cigarette smokers quit smoking in a statement released on Thursday, December 14th.
The organization emphasized the need for urgent action to control e-cigarettes to protect children and non-smokers and minimize potential health risks to the population. According to the WHO, e-cigarettes, as consumer products, have not demonstrated effective help in smoking cessation and instead have emerging warning evidence of adverse effects on public health.
The Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance (Ketca) also supports the ban on these products, citing evidence that the tobacco industry and other nicotine product distributors are targeting primary school children through targeted advertisements, necessitating a comprehensive ban on these products.
The Kenyan Senate is currently awaiting a legislative proposal to regulate electronic vaporizers and other nicotine delivery products.
 Kenya’s proposed ban on e-cigarettes receives WHO support