Kenya: Citizen TV told to remove smoking bit in drama

Regulation & Policy

The Tobacco Control Board has warned media houses that air content that promotes tobacco. The board has written to Citizen TV to stop airing smoking session in the popular drama Tahidi High. "Those people who are acting on Tahidi High are actually celebrities of sorts. They are role models. And when young children grow seeing celebrities, the people they actually admire, puffing cigarettes, then actually it's a wrong message to our young children," said the boards' alternate secretary Ibrahim Longolomoi.

Speaking on the sidelines of a stakeholders meeting on tobacco policy in Mombasa, Longolomoi said they have also written to an FM station based in Nairobi to stop promoting a Sishaparlour in Nairobi. Longolomoi said Sisha is a tobacco product and should not be advertised in Kenya. He said such advertisements is against the the law. He added that tobacco products have no health benefits.

Board chairman Peter Odhiambo said tobacco farmers have to find alternative cash crops. He said no level of tar or nicotine is acceptable in a human body. "Tobacco farmers in Kenya should know that they are an endangered species in so far as they have no opening or no light at the end of the tunnel to even achieve what they think they should be achieving," said Odhiambo.