Smoking out the lies: documents research on tobacco tax policy in Kenya
 
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1
International Institute for Legislative Affairs, Research and Development, Kenya
2
Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa, Centre Manager, Uganda
3
University of Colorado, United States of America
4
Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa, Monitoring and Evaluation, Uganda
5
International Institute for Legislative Affairs, Kenya
6
Ministry of Health, Kenya, Tobacco Control Unit, Kenya
7
The Star Newspaper, Kenya
8
Ministry of Health, Kenya, Kenya
Publish date: 2018-03-01
 
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A89
KEYWORDS:
WCTOH
 
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ABSTRACT:
Background:
Tobacco Industry (TI) interference in policy development and implementation in Kenya has been widely reported in both local and international media outlets. A local newspaper, Daily Nation, dated 22nd November, 2004, reported that when the current tobacco control law was tabled in parliament, British American Tobacco Kenya (BATK) and Mastermind Tobacco Kenya (MTK) organized a weekend-long retreat in Chale Island, for 40 Members of Parliament (MPs) to lobby against the Bill. Despite the passage of the tobacco control law in 2007, the TI still had its way in influencing tobacco tax and price measures using different tactics. We carried out this project therefore, to expose and document these tactics employed by the TI in Kenya.

Methods:
The Truth Tobacco Industry Documents Archive (http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu), a database compiled by the University of California in San Francisco in 2002, served as the primary source of information for the study. Key Informant Interviews were purposively sampled from relevant government ministries and agencies, civil society and other actors. The findings from the library and the KII, were then triangulated with statements from industry and government officials and other related articles in newspaper stories and publications.

Results:
We established that the tobacco industry in Kenya has repeatedly used 6 main tactics to influence tobacco tax and price policies, they include: use of front groups, use of tobacco advertisements, promotion and sponsorship, influencing policy development and legislative processes, Illicit and Deceptive Trade Practices, Intimidation and Litigation, Phony statistics and researches.

Conclusions:
The TI armed with their financial muscle and high-powered political connections, will go any distance to achieve their goal for profit. However, their tactics and strategies in interference has been similar over the years. This implies then, that awareness of these tactics by policymakers will go a long way in preventing future TI interference.

eISSN:1617-9625