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Proposed new taxes on e-cigarettes and other alternative nicotine products have attracted significant attention since their announcement in the national Budget speech.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani’s commitment to protect the health of citizens is to be commended. But there is concern among many in the public health community that his proposals to make tobacco harm reduction products less affordable will negatively affect efforts to cut Kenya’s stubbornly high smoking rates. Harm reduction is a concept that is widely accepted in the treatment of drug addiction, yet seems to receive less support in our country when applied to the treatment of smokers.