Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has declared the registration of nicotine pouches popularly known as LYFT illegal.
In a letter to the Pharmacy and Poisons Board CEO Fred Siyoi, the CS wants the nicotine pouches deregistered. He argues its licensing was done contrary to the provisions of Section 25 of the Pharmacy and Poisons Act CAP 224.
Nicotine pouches are marketed as a safer alternative for smoking addicts who want to quit the habit but are addicted.
The pouch is placed inside the mouth between the lip and gums for extended periods. The nicotine and flavour is released to deliver stimulation.
The board had registered the product as a pharmaceutical drug.
“The nicotine pouches neither meet the descriptions of ‘Part I Poison’ nor “Part II poison’ as prescribed in the Act,” the letter reads in part. “Further, the manner in which the product is sold to the public does not meet the provisions of Section 23 of CAP 244 as required.”
In addition, Kagwe notes that market surveillance has revealed that the product is dispensed in automatic vending machines contrary to the law.
“In view of the above, therefore, you are required to furnish the ministry with a comprehensive report on the criteria used and circumstances leading to the registration and licencing of the product under the Pharmacy and Poisons Act,” said Kagwe.
Lyft has gained popularity in the country since its introduction in the county last year by British American Tobacco.
The product has, however, faced opposition from anti-tobacco groups who claim that the product is causing serious addiction among the youth.