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Monitoring compliance with Kenya’s shisha ban in select public hospitality venues in Nairobi


Introduction Seven countries in the WHO African Region have banned the sale and/or use of shisha. In 2017, Kenya implemented a comprehensive ban on shisha, including the use, import, manufacture, sale, offer of sale, advertising, promotion, distribution and encouraging or facilitating its use. The objective of this study was to assess compliance with the ban of shisha use in select public hospitality venues in Nairobi, Kenya.

Methods Observational study that used a purposive sampling to select restaurants, bars and nightclubs where shisha use took place before the ban. A total of 200 venues were visited in seven areas of Nairobi City County, Kenya. Shisha use was defined as at least one person smoking shisha in any indoor or outdoor area of the venue accessible to the public, and indicators of shisha use as the display of any shisha equipment.

Results Overall, 81.5% of the venues visited were in compliance. Shisha smoking was observed in 16.5% of all venues and shisha equipment alone was observed in 2.0%. Among the different venue types, 94.6% of restaurants were compliant, 79.7% of bars and 75.6% of nightclubs.

Discussion The overall high compliance indicates that Kenya’s shisha ban is well implemented in Nairobi, and may be explained by the comprehensive nature of the shisha ban and the low prevalence in the general population. The variation in compliance may be due to the higher rates of use in university students and the additional resources required to enforce the ban in areas with high rates of crime.

  • low/middle income country
  • surveillance and monitoring
  • advocacy

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