Religious leaders in Nakuru have welcomed a move to ban cigarette smoking in public premises.
Their sentiments comes a day after the county Public Health Office banned smoking in public areas including schools, hospitals, churches, government offices among other institutions.
Samuel King'ori who is in charge of that sector in the county, said ‘Smoking is harmful both to smokers and passive smokers. We will not bend laws to any individual who will be found smoking in public’.
Pastor Sam Njuguna of AIC Heshima, said smoking irritates the non-smokers, and urged the county government to extend the ban to all towns and villages within Nakuru county.
“We need our children to have role models and smoking will only create a bad picture to them who might only end up trying to do the same as it has been,” said pastor Njuguna”
Pastor James Mungai of VIC Bahati, said the county government should come up with clear regulations that will enable stiff penalties to those who break the law.
But according to King’ori, the stipulated laws not only prohibits smoking in public and work places but also prohibits smoking on streets and anyone found guilty will be fined Sh50, 000 each.
At the same time, the officer urged the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to re-gazette trained public health officers in a bid to enhance enforcement of Tobacco Control Act 2007.
However businessmen and women are worried that the ban will have a negative impact on their businesses.
“Most of my customers are cigarette smokers. Therefore it comes automatically that we will have a reduced number of smokers following the ban. This is not fair at all” lamented Nancy Mwihaki a shop owner at Posho mill trading centre