A national mass media campaign entitled ‘Tobacco Kills – Quit Now!’ has been launched across Kenya by Dr. Khadijah Kassachoon, the Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Health (MoH).
This campaign is to warn people about the harmful effects of smoking tobacco, and particularly the harms of second-hand tobacco smoke to the unborn, babies and young children. This is to also encourage smokers to heed the country’s smoke-free laws and to quit smoking.
The Ministry of Health, with technical and financial support from World Lung Foundation, is undertaking this important mass media campaign, which combines public service announcements (PSAs) on TV and radio, and community posters in both Swahili and English.
There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke and only 100% of smoke-free environments are effective in protecting the public from the harmful effects of tobacco.The campaign shows how children exposed to cigarette smoke are more likely to suffer from severe respiratory infections, ear infections, asthma and sudden infant death.
‘Tobacco Kills – Quit Now!’ was pretested and rated most effective by Kenyans and other African audiences. This PSA has been successfully used in Cameroon and The Gambia, and in more than a dozen other countries, including China, Vietnam, Australia, Lebanon, and Poland, and has been found to motivate smokers to try to quit. The MoH, in collaboration with the support of the National Authority for the Campaign Against Drug Abuse, has provided information on where to seek help to quit smoking tobacco. The campaign includes a toll-free helpline – accessed by dialling 1192.