Murang’a government to enforce ban on smoking in public.

People who will be found smoking in public places within Murang’a County after today risk arrest and prosecution.

The county government has come out to enforce a ban on smoking in public as stipulated in Tobacco Control Act 2007.

The County Executive member for Health and Sanitation Mr. Joseph Mbai has said smoking in public especially in local towns has been rampant and the trend has been posing risk to non-smokers.

Mbai said there has been outcry from members of public concerning smoking prompting the county government to move fast and enforce the law.

Delay in implementation of the law we can say was occasioned by the process of devolution as the Act is supposed to be enforced by county governments, noted the Executive Secretary.

He said there are increased cases of cancer, hypertension and asthma which can be attributed to smoking in public.

Crackdown on offenders, Mbai said will start immediately and areas targeted include bars, hotels and offices which he said are public places.

Gone are the days when one would just enter a bar and start smoking. If one wants to smoke, one has to look for a designated place for smoking, he added.

Smoking in public the executive secretary noted does not only affect the smokers but also people around him as they inhale contaminated with cigarette smoke.

Mbai directed all town managers and sub county administrators to designate smoking areas away from main streets.

I appeal to our town managements to work with the health department and put up areas where smokers could be using so as to assist them not to smoke in public places, he added.

Some cigarette smokers who talked to KNA decried the lack of smoking zones in most towns within the county.

One of the smokers who sought anonymity asked the county government to provide places for smoking before they enforce the law.

We are not supporting smoking in public but before they come out to arrest us they should ensure there are smoking zones in our markets, he posed.

Source: Kenya News Agency