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Tobacco firms enter more restricted smoking zones 

Jump to full article: Business Daily Africa (The Nation) (ke), 2010-11-23
Author: GEORGE OMONDI

Intro:

Tobacco firms are braced for a tougher operating regime in Kenya after the country joined delegates from other regions in endorsing stringent anti-smoking rules at a UN meeting in Uruguay.

The new measures reached last week by the 171 signatories to the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) after a week-long meeting that ended on Saturday.

The steps are aimed at cutting the use of tobacco worldwide.

The countries approved the tough guidelines fronted by Canada seeking to prohibit the manufacture and sale of cigarettes that contain flavourings and additives. These components are believed to enhance attractiveness of tobacco products among users.

At the meeting, parties to FCTC resolved to draft guidelines for implementation of price and taxation policy of tobacco products.

The WHO convention obligates signatory countries to gradually raise taxes and prices of tobacco products in a move that is calculated to put them beyond the reach of many users.

“In Kenya, taxes on cigarettes have remained static over the last two fiscal years in spite of being the first country in the region to ratify FCTC,” said Mr John Kimosop, the executive director of the Institute for Legislative Affairs. . . .

On Monday, major manufacturers declined to comment, saying the matter was being handled at the African Union level.

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