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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 July 2007, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
Public smoking ban hits Nairobi
George Juma
Kenyan cigarette vendors are worried at the ban's impact
A ban on smoking in public places is being enforced in Kenya's capital Nairobi - a year after a court blocked the measure from being introduced.

Those found smoking at bus stations, in markets or on the streets, face a fine of $30 or six months in jail.

The smoking ban is already being enforced in Nakuru and was recently introduced in the port city of Mombasa.

Kenya's 300,000 tobacco farmers, who grow about 20,000 tons a year, fear the ban could seriously hit their incomes.

The Nairobi City Council says the new by-laws are aimed at reducing the harmful effects of second-hand tobacco smoke.

Bars and restaurant owners are now required to provide a secluded area for smokers, under the new laws.

Dispute

Last year, the High Court suspended a ban on smoking ordered by the health ministry after tobacco companies challenged the minister's authority to impose the restriction.

Kenyan views on Nairobi's newly enforced smoking ban

Cigarette manufacturers were required to print health warnings that would cover half of the packets produced.

Under the ban, those caught smoking in offices, bus stations, airports and sports venue would face a fine of 50,000 Kenya shillings ($700; 375) or six months in prison.

But some five million smokers in Kenya described the fines as unrealistic.

Statistics at the health ministry show tobacco killed about 12,000 Kenyans each year and a public ban would reduce that figure.


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