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Country Factsheets


Strong tobacco control policies:

High youth smoking prevalence:

Major recent decreases in smoking:


How many people die from smoking in Kenya each year?


What is the economic cost of smoking and tobacco use in Kenya each year?


Kenyan shillings

Current Rates of Smoking and Tobacco Use in Kenya

Tobacco use continues to be an epidemic in Kenya. Government complacency in the face of the tobacco epidemic protects the tobacco industry in Kenya as the death toll grows each year. Proponents of healthier societies must push for the implementation of evidence-based best practices in tobacco control to create change and reduce the negative effects of tobacco use.

Adult Smoking Prevalence in Kenya

15+ years old; 2019





Adult smoking prevalence in Kenya is 11%.

Number of Adult Smokers in Kenya

15+ years old; 2019





Number of adult smokers in Kenya is 3,091,870.

Youth Smoking Prevalence in Kenya

10-14 years old; 2019





Youth smoking prevalence in Kenya is 5%.

Adult Smokeless Tobacco Use in Kenya

15+ years old; smokeless tobacco includes snus, chewing tobacco, gutkha, etc.; 2019

Both Men and Women


Adult smokeless tobacco use prevalence in Kenya is 4%.

Deaths Caused by Tobacco in Kenya

% deaths attributable to tobacco use in 2019





4% of all deaths in Kenya are caused by tobacco use.

Negative Effect of Tobacco Use in Kenya

Tobacco use harms both the public and fiscal health of Kenya, threatening efforts to improve equity, alleviate poverty, and protect the environment.

Harms Impact

Societal Harms

The economic cost of smoking Kenya is 47,083,569,152 Kenyan shillings. This includes direct costs related to healthcare expenditures and indirect costs related to lost productivity caused by illness and premature death.

Harms Impact

Harms Development

Tobacco spending diverts funds from the resources that families need to rise out of poverty. On average in Kenya, a smoker must spend 11.43% of GDP per capita to buy 100 packs of the most popular cigarettes in a year.

Harms Impact

Environmental Harms

Cigarette butts are the most commonly discarded pieces of waste worldwide. It is estimated that 1,401 tons of butts wind up as toxic trash in Kenya each year, equal to 400 female African elephants.

Harms Impact

Harms Health Equity

The tobacco industry markets its products aggressively to lower-income populations and youth in Kenya.

Harms Impact

Harms NCDs

Not only is smoking a major risk factor for the 4 largest noncommunicable diseases (cancer, heart diseases, respiratory diseases, and diabetes), but people living with mental illness are nearly 2x as likely to smoke as other individuals.

Learn more about Health Effects.

Impact of the Tobacco Supply Chain on Kenya

The tobacco industry profits significantly from producing and selling tobacco. At the same time, across the tobacco supply chain, there are significant negative health and economic repercussions for Kenya.

Harms Impact

Tobacco Production

There were approximately 17 billion cigarettes produced in Kenya in 2016.

Harms Impact

Tobacco Industry

The total revenue of the 6 largest tobacco companies in the world was USD 336 billion in 2019, about the same as Viet Nam's Gross National Income (GNI), 5x Ghana's GNI and 9x Paraguay's GNI.

Harms Impact

Tobacco Growing

There were 8536 tons of tobacco produced in Kenya in 2019 on 16733 hectares of quality agricultural land that could have been used to grow food.

Learn more about global Product Sales and Growing.

Ending the Tobacco Epidemic in Kenya

Fortunately, there are evidence-based—i.e. proven—solutions to the challenges posed by tobacco use. For several decades, governments around the world have been introducing a set of policies that address the demand for tobacco products, particularly among youth. These policies effectively reduce consumption and are cost-effective because they save goverments enormous amounts of money in health care spending and increase economic productivity.

Current Tobacco Control Policies in Kenya

Designated Smoke-Free Areas in Kenya


Healthcare Facilities


Educational Facilities




Government Facilities


Indoor Offices




Pubs and Bars


Public Transport


All Other Indoor Public Places


Funds for Enforcement

Availability of Cessation Services in Kenya

Quitting Resources

NRT and/or some cessation services (at least one of which is cost-covered)

National Quit Line


Learn more about best practices in Cessation.

Tobacco Packaging Regulations in Kenya

Quality of Tobacco Packaging Regulation


Text warning label only

Graphic warning label only

Plain Packaging with graphic warning label

% of Pack Covered


Learn more about best practices in Counter Marketing.

Tobacco Control Mass Media Campaigns in Kenya

Ran a National Anti-Tobacco Campaign


Part Of A Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program

Not Applicable

Pre-Tested With The Target Audience

Not Applicable

Target Audience Research Was Conducted

Not Applicable

Aired On Television And/Or Radio

Not Applicable

Utilized Media Planning

Not Applicable

Earned Media/Public Relations Were Used To Promote The Campaign

Not Applicable

Process Evaluation Was Used To Assess Implementation

Not Applicable

Outcome Evaluation Was Used To Assess Effectiveness

Not Applicable

Learn more about best practices in Mass Media.

Tobacco Tax Policies in Kenya

Using evidence-based international recommendations/best practices, the Tobaccononomics Cigarette Tax Scorecard assesses four components of tax systems — price, change in affordability, tax share, and structure — on a scale of 0 to 5, where a higher score is preferred.

Overall Score


The overall score is an average of the four component scores.

Cigarette Price


Consumers respond to higher prices by decreasing consumption and some quit using tobacco.

Change in Affordability Over Time


In addition to price, change in affordability is critical. Cigarettes need to become less affordable for consumption to decline.

Tax Share of Price


Large tax shares of price are usually a good indicator that taxes are working.

Tax Structure


Best practices include relying more on uniform specific excise taxes that are adjusted regularly to outpace growth and inflation.

Learn more about the Scorecard in Kenya.

Regulations on Tobacco Advertising, Promotion, and Sponsorship (TAPS) in Kenya

Marketing is the key avenue that tobacco companies use to reach consumers, new and old. Restricting or eliminating marketing is key to tobacco control success.

Direct Bans 7 out of 7 direct bans implemented

National TV and radio


International TV and radio


Local magazines and newspapers


International magazines and newspapers


Billboard and outdoor advertising


Advertising at point of sale


Advertising on internet


Ad Ban Compliance: 75%

Indirect Bans 9 out of 10 indirect bans implemented

Free distribution in mail or through other means


Promotional discounts


Non-tobacco products identified with tobacco brand names


Brand name of non-tobacco products used for tobacco product


Appearance in TV and/or films: tobacco brands (product placement)


Appearance in TV and/or films: tobacco products


Prescribed anti-tobacco ads required for any visual entertainment media product that depicts tobacco products, use or images


Complete ban on sponsorship


Any form of contribution (financial or other support) to any event, activity or individual


Ban on the publicity of financial or other sponsorship or support by the tobacco industry of events, activities, individuals


Ad Ban Compliance: 75%

Source: GTCR