New smoking restrictions in Kenya have been suspended just three days after coming into force. The high court issued an injunction against the measures on 31 May following an appeal by tobacco companies who claimed they had not been given enough time to comply with the new regulations, which include printing a Smoking Kills warning on cigarette packets.
The restrictions were announced by the health ministry in mid-May and affect smoking in office buildings, court houses, educational institutions, places of worship, police stations, residential areas, prisons, markets, shopping centres, cinemas, childrens homes and playing fields. People caught smoking in these places are liable to a Ksh50,000 fine or six months in jail. There are an estimated five million smokers in Kenya while 12,000 people are believed to die from smoking or secondary smoke each year. The smoking restrictions have been suspended for an initial period of 30 days.