Tobacco use is one of the most common risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCDs). According to the Kenya Ministry of Health, NCDs contribute to nearly 50% of all admissions in public hospitals countrywide. In Kenya, 69 per 100,000 deaths for individuals aged 30 and above result from tobacco use. Five percent of all non-communicable deaths in Kenya result from tobacco use, and 55% of all deaths from cancers of the trachea, bronchitis, and lung are attributable to tobacco.
The survey found that:
19.1% of men, 4.5% of women, and 11.6% overall (2.5 million adults) currently used tobacco (smoking and/or smokeless tobacco).
15.1% of men, 0.8% of women, and 7.8% overall (1.7 million adults) currently smoked tobacco.
5.3% of men, 3.8% of women, and 4.5% overall (1.0 million adults) currently used smokeless tobacco.
72.0% of daily tobacco users use tobacco (smoking and/or smokeless tobacco) within 30 minutes of waking up.
Overall, 6.0% of the adults were daily tobacco smokers, 1.8% were occasional tobacco users, while 92.2% were non-smokers. An estimated 6.7% and 4.5% of the rural and urban residents, respectively, were daily tobacco smokers.
Overall, 41.3% of current smokers initiated smoking between 20-24 years of age, while 32.3% initiated between 17-19 years, 13.5% between 15-16 years, and 7.5% when they were less than 15 years of age.
Among tobacco users, 61.0% used smoked tobacco only (72.2% of men and 16.1% of women), 33.2% used smokeless tobacco only (20.8% of men and 83.0% of women) and 5.8% used both smoked and smokeless tobacco (7.0% of men and 1.0% of women).
The majority of men smoked tobacco while most female tobacco users used smokeless tobacco (Figure 1).
Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) Fact sheet 2014