BAT Kenya has raised the prices of nearly all of its cigarettes by up to Sh15 per packet in changes the company said are meant to pass increased taxes to consumers.
This comes after the Finance Act 2019 raised excise duty charged on cigarettes by 14.1 percent effective last November.
The raise also comes after the firm and other cigarette manufacturers were ordered to follow the provisions of the Tobacco Control Act.
The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm said the higher taxes have made cigarettes made in Kenya expensive, adding that this has, in turn, fuelled smuggling of cheap products from neighbouring countries.
“These new prices have been largely driven by the enactment of the Finance Act 2019, which has further increased the excise differential for tobacco products between Kenya and Uganda,” BAT said
In March 2017, British American Tobacco Kenya Plc (“BAT Kenya” or “the Company”) filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Kenya against the Court of Appeal’s judgment upholding the legality of the Tobacco Control Regulations 2014 (the “Regulations”).
Since 2007, when the Tobacco Control Act was enacted, every attempt by the
government to implement and enforce the law to protect the lives of Kenyans, has been opposed or blocked by the tobacco industry.
The Tobacco Control Regulations, 2014, which are expected to operationalize this Act, had also been blocked since 2015.
But yesterday, the BAT was defeated and Kenyans hope once and for all.
Because according to the Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance, Tobacco is responsible for 30,000 unnecessary deaths.
Tobacco use is currently among the top five leading behavioural causes of cancer, and is responsible for about a third of cancer deaths globally, according to WHO.
The chairman of the Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance, Mr. Joel Vitali, released a statement after the court ruling commeding the decision.
‘We congratulate the Supreme Court for upholding the regulations, confirming they conform to the Kenyan Constitution, whose main goal is also to protect health and lives of Kenyans’, Mr. Gitali said
BAT has been trying to arm twist the government into accepting its position by threatening to layoff Kenyan workers. But now their schemes have been defeated.
Below is the full statement from the Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance.
Mr. Joel Gitali, The Chairman, Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance Statement On The Ruling Of The Supreme Court On November 26th 2019, Nairobi
At least 30,000 of our family members, friends or other Kenyans who were alive on January 1st this year, will not see the end of the year. Reason? They will have been killed through exposure to tobacco.
Today, the Supreme Court has ruled to stop this senseless killing of defenseless Kenyans.
Since 2007, when the Tobacco Control Act was enacted, every attempt by the government to implement and enforce the law to protect the lives of Kenyans, has been opposed or blocked by the tobacco industry.
The Tobacco Control Regulations, 2014, which are expected to operationalize this act, had also been blocked since 2015.
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