Smoking cigarette has been a habit that most Kenyans cannot just shake off, bearing in mind there is no punishment for over engaging in the product. However, one Ibrahim Mohamud Ibrahim is seeking to sanitize the country into a tobacco-free nation by having cigarette completely banned, with the help of the court.
Mr Ibrahim has sued the Ministry of Health, its Cabinet Secretary and the Attorney-General in a suit in which he has included the British American Tobacco Company as a party. In the filed suit, he has accused the government of allowing production, manufacturing, distribution, management, dissemination and consumption of tobacco in the country regardless of its effects on health.
Tobacco Act allows for the production, licensing sale and use of tobacco in various forms. But he has challenged the act claiming that it continues to put the health of Kenyans predisposed to cancer among other illnesses that emanate from smoking. That farmers, manufacturers, traders and consumers are at risk yet the government has created an enabling environment that leaves everyone exposed to smoking dangers.
The effects of smoking cigarette are dominant among its addicts, with the illnesses locally associated with smoking include stroke, heart diseases, tuberculosis and cardiovascular disease besides cancer.
In his case documents, he highlighted how in the United States cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths every year than HIV, illegal drug and alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries as well as firearm-related incidents.
“The petitioner challenges the holding of tobacco as a legal commodity available for exploitation and consumption by the public in blatant disregard of the effects of growing, consuming, selling and use,” said his lawyer.