Kenya became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on February 27, 2005.
Smoke Free Places
Smoking is allowed in designated smoking areas in most public places and workplaces. It is unclear whether smoking is prohibited in most means of public transport, including trains, buses, taxis, and aircraft.
Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
The law prohibits virtually all forms of advertising and promotion of tobacco products. There are some restrictions on tobacco sponsorship and the publicity of such sponsorship.
Tobacco Packaging and Labeling
Rotating, text-only health warnings must cover 30 percent of the front and 50 percent of the back of the package and must be displayed in English and Kiswahili languages. Misleading packaging and labeling, which could include terms such as “light” and “low tar” and other signs, is prohibited.
Cigarette Contents and Disclosures
The law grants the authority to regulate the contents of cigarettes; however, no subsequent regulations have been issued. The law requires that manufacturers and importers disclose to government authorities information on the contents of their products, but does not require disclosure of information on emissions.
The law prohibits the sale of tobacco products via vending machines and the internet. The law also prohibits the sale of single cigarettes, small packets of cigarettes, and waterpipe tobacco. The sale of tobacco products is prohibited to persons under the age of 18.
The retail sale of e-cigarettes is allowed. There are no restrictions on the use; advertising, promotion and sponsorship; or packaging and labeling of e-cigarettes.
Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation
The Tobacco Control Act, 2007 is the principal law governing tobacco control in Kenya. This comprehensive law defines keys terms and covers topics including, but not limited to, restrictions on public smoking; tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and packaging and labeling of tobacco products. Other topics addressed by the law include: public education and information campaigns; sales to minors; and enforcement of the law. The Tobacco Control Act, 2007 grants powers, including implementation and enforcement authority, to individuals appointed under the Public Health Act. The Traffic Act provides a definition of “public service vehicle,” incorporated by the Tobacco Control Act with regards to smoke free provisions. The Tobacco Control Regulations, 2014 require combined picture and text health warnings and further regulate other provisions under the Tobacco Control Act, 2007 including public smoking restrictions, tobacco product and tobacco industry disclosures, and an annual fee placed on tobacco product manufacturers and importers, which will contribute to a tobacco control fund. British American Tobacco Kenya (BAT) has unsuccessfully challenged the Regulations and its appeal is currently pending before the Kenya Supreme Court.
This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff in consultation with in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts.