Nyeri County to set up smoking zones

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Nyeri County will in the next financial year set aside Ksh1.5million for the construction of smoking zones at it steps up campaign against tobacco usage and enforcement of public smoking ban.

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Alongside this development, Deputy Director in charge of Public Health and Sanitation, John Mugenyu, announced that they would also be formulating a law regulating tobacco usage that has been on the rise in the area.

These two austerity measures, Mugenyu said, will go a long way in empowering the government to effect and criminalize public smoking that attracts a fine of not less than Ksh. 50,000 as stipulated in Tobacco Control Act of 2007.

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He said three smoking zones would be constructed in Nyeri town by the end of the year as he called on the county assembly to support the budget to ensure the development materializes.

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Speaking in his office today when he received members of Tobacco Control Board, who held road shows in various towns in the county to sensitize residents on the dangers of tobacco usage, Mugenyu said the smoking zones would also serve to protect the public from secondhand tobacco smoke.

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He said they will also be conducting regular awareness creation campaigns especially in schools to enlighten the young ones on the health hazards associated with tobacco consumption.

Tobacco control Board Member, Musau Kyanesa, said they are ready to work with county governments to assist in making county specific legislations in line with national laws.

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He said smoking was a leading predisposing factors to non- communicable diseases such as cancer, hypertension and heart diseases, adding there was need to create more awareness of dangers associated with it.

According to Global Adults Tobacco Survey of 2014, approximately 109 adults die of smoking related health complications every week countrywide.

The report further indicates that 2.5 million Kenyans are smokers and that half of lifetime users will die of tobacco related diseases.

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