If you thought that the government’s ban on Shisha was just a child’s play then you were dead wrong. A section of Kenyans had seen the government as a toothless bulldog due to it’s reluctance and seemingly slow pace in enforcing the ban.
The government has now moved with speed and directed all public health officers across the country to ensure the ban on shisha smoking imposed last year is effectively enforced.
In a memo dated November 7, 2018, Director of Public Health Kepha Ombacho noted that shisha smoking is still rampant at various entertainment joints despite the ban still being in force.
“A spotcheck in major towns reveals that shisha smoking is still rampant in social joints.Further to thus, it has also been noted with concern that smoking in public places is also on the increase,” reads the notice.
“You are required therefore, to move with speed and enforce the shisha ban together with the Tobacco Control Act CAP 245A.”
Last year, the Ministry of Health banned importation, manufacture, sale, promotion and advertisement of shisha in the country.
“Any person who contravenes any provisions of these rules [Control of Smoking Shisha Rules, 2017] may, where a penalty has not been expressly provided for under any provision of the Act, be liable to the penalty contemplated under Section 163 of the [Public Health] Act,” reads a Special Gazette notice dated December 28, 2017 signed by then Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopha Mailu.
“Where no penalty is expressly provided for such offence, offenders are “liable to a fine not exceeding Ksh.50,000, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both and, if the offence, contravention or default is of a continuing nature, to a further fine not exceeding Ksh.1, 000 for each day it continues.”
Dr. Mailu said the decision to ban shisha was based on the greater public interest of protecting and enforcing public health from harmful effects and practices associated with shisha consumption.
Do you support the governments renewed crackdown on Shisha users?