Most retailers in Nairobi are violating the Tobacco Control Act, 2007 by continuing selling single sticks of cigarettes which has made it easy for teenagers to access them.
A study by International Institute for Legislative Affairs (IILA) reveals that more than 60 per cent of cigarettes sold in the city are single sticks and are mainly bought by teenagers.
“The sale of single sticks of cigarettes makes tobacco product accessible and affordable to the youth, and it gives them an opportunity to experiment. It gets the youth initiated into cigarette smoking and this leads to addiction,” said Emma Wanyonyi, the ILLA chief executive officer during the release of the report.
Ms Wanyonyi said lack of enforcement of the set rules has made it easier for the vice to thrive in low income areas.
According to the study which was conducted in the CBD , Mathare, Buruburu, Kibra, Kileleshwa, Kawangware and Karen areas, single sticks are mostly consumed in low income areas.
“Many retailers of tobacco products take advantage of poor enforcement but they are also being aided by tobacco companies which provides them with advertising material,” she said.
She urged regulatory agencies at National and County level to consider licencing of retail vendors in order to control the distribution and sale of tobacco products.