A motion by Senators to regulate or ban e-cigarettes has sparked concerns among smoking cessation advocates. Campaign for Safer Alternatives (CASA) warns that such a move could reverse progress in smoking cessation and leave current smokers without an effective quitting tool.
CASA emphasizes that international scientists consistently found e-cigarettes to be the most effective method for helping smokers quit. Recent analysis by Cochrane, involving over 150,000 smokers, revealed that e-cigarette users were up to three times more likely to quit than those not using smoking cessation aids.
Joseph Magero, Chairman of CASA, states, “E-cigarette bans are not just misguided; they are deadly. E-cigarettes provide smokers with a way out of tobacco smoking – cutting off this lifeline will have dangerous repercussions for public health.”
Equating e-cigarettes with tobacco
CASA raises concerns about equating e-cigarettes with tobacco products, emphasizing that e-cigarettes contain no tobacco and do not expose users to the cancer risks associated with smoking.
Magero underscores another potential problem: “Banning e-cigarettes outright will simply drive people to unregulated and potentially dangerous alternatives. History shows that prohibition does not work.”
This proposed ban would make Kenya an outlier in reducing smoking rates globally. In contrast, countries like Sweden and the UK have embraced smoke-free nicotine products, actively advising smokers to use e-cigarettes as a quitting tool.
The World Health Organization notes that nicotine itself does not cause cancer or cardiovascular disease, distinguishing it from the hazards of smoking.