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Gov’t bans nicotine pouches Lyft, says registration was illegal

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The Ministry of Health has banned Lyft, a nicotine pouch that is marketed by British American Tobacco (BAT-Kenya), saying that it was illegally licensed in the country.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe says that the Pharmacy and Poisons Board contravened provisions of Section 25 of the Pharmacy and Poisons Act CAP 224, when licensing Lyft.

Lyft was introduced in Kenya late 2019 and is usually used as an alternative to cigarettes for addicted smokers, with CS Kagwe now faulting the decision by the board to classify it as pharmaceutical drug.

In August 2020, the National Parents Association lobbied for Lyft to be banned in Kenya, after raising concerns that it is being abused by school-going children.

In October 2020, health experts as well as anti-tobacco lobby groups called upon the government to deregister Lyft on grounds that it is not a pharmaceutical product, and that it is highly addictive.

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