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February 20th, 2017:

Court upholds stringent anti-tobacco laws

The High Court has delivered a landmark ruling allowing the Tobacco Amendment Act (2014) to take effect after a protracted legal battle with cigarette manufacturing companies.

The stringent anti-tobacco laws were published on December 5, 2014 and expected to take effect six months later but this did not happen owing to court cases lodged by tobacco companies led by British American Tobacco Limited opposing the laws.

On March 24, 2016, Lady Justice Mumbi Ngugi upheld the laws and ordered them to be deployed six months after the date of the ruling.

A High Court panel comprising of Judges Festus Azangalala, Hannah Okwengu and Fatuma Sichale have upheld Justice Mumbi Ngugi’s ruling, thereby giving the Tobacco Amendments Act (2014) life.

Delighted by the ruling, Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance (KETCA) coordinator Thomas Lindi, urged the government to implement the laws comprehensively, arguing that there are currently 6,000 tobacco-related deaths annually and more than 220,000 children exposed to tobacco smoke.