Velo Ban in Kenya: Everything About Velo Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, and Ban in Kenya
Learn everything you need to know about Velo in Kenya. Discover the concerns, precautions, and the current status of its legality
In recent times, the Velo brand has gained popularity in Kenya. However, there have been growing concerns regarding its health risks and effects. The Kenya Tobacco Control Act of 2007 mandates explicit warnings on tobacco and nicotine products, but Velo's packaging needs to meet these requirements. Lawmakers in Kenya have raised questions about the presence of this addictive nicotine product in the market and are urging the Ministry of Health to take action. This article will delve into the uses, side effects, precautions, and the ban on Velo in Kenya.
Uses of Velo
Velo, formerly known as Lyft, is a nicotine pouch product manufactured by British American Tobacco (BAT). Its primary purpose is to assist individuals in quitting smoking by providing a safer alternative to cigarettes. Nicotine, the addictive component of tobacco, is a crucial factor in cigarette addiction. When individuals quit smoking, their nicotine levels drop rapidly, leading to withdrawal symptoms such as tobacco cravings, nervousness, irritability, headaches, weight gain, and difficulty concentrating. Velo helps users overcome these withdrawal symptoms by replacing the nicotine found in cigarettes, allowing them to reduce their nicotine dependence gradually.
Side Effects of Velo
While Velo aims to aid in smoking cessation, it is essential to understand the potential side effects associated with its use. Common side effects of nicotine replacement therapy, including Velo, may include:
- Mouth/throat pain
- Runny/stuffy nose
- Change in taste
These side effects are often mild and temporary. However, they can be more pronounced if individuals continue to smoke while using nicotine replacement products. In such cases, consulting a healthcare professional for guidance is crucial.
Precautions When Using Velo
Before using Velo or any nicotine replacement product, it is essential to consider certain precautions:
- Allergies: Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to any ingredients in Velo, as it may contain inactive components that can cause allergic reactions.
- Medical History: Disclose your medical history to your healthcare provider, particularly if you have a history of blood vessel disease, breathing problems, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, liver or kidney disease, oesophagus problems, or seizures.
- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Nicotine and smoking can harm unborn babies and nursing infants. Pregnant women are encouraged to try quitting smoking without nicotine replacement products. If using Velo is necessary during pregnancy or breastfeeding, consult a healthcare professional to discuss the risks and benefits.
The Ban on Velo in Kenya
The presence of Velo in the Kenyan market has raised significant concerns among lawmakers and health officials. This product, imported from Hungary and distributed in Kenya by BAT Kenya Limited, has been subject to scrutiny due to inadequate health risk disclosures on its packaging.
The Kenya Tobacco Control Act of 2007 requires all tobacco and nicotine products to carry warnings in English and Kiswahili. However, Velo products in Kenya only bear one warning, stating, "This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical." Health experts assert that natural or synthetic nicotine carries various health risks beyond addiction, including cardiovascular, respiratory, and gastrointestinal diseases.
Lawmakers, including Nominated MP Sabina Chege, have questioned why an addictive drug like Velo is allowed into Kenya and have called for its ban pending a thorough investigation. Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha has acknowledged the concerns and stated that a technical team is reviewing the Tobacco Act 2007 to make recommendations.
While Velo has gained popularity, especially among young people, the debate over its safety and legality continues. The Ministry of Health aims to address these concerns to safeguard the well-being of Kenyan citizens.
The Velo ban in Kenya has brought to light vital discussions about its uses, side effects, and the need for stricter regulations. While Velo aims to assist individuals in quitting smoking, it is vital to be aware of its potential side effects and to follow precautions when using it. The controversy surrounding Velo's presence in Kenya underscores the importance of reviewing and updating tobacco-related legislation to protect the health and well-being of the Kenyan population.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why is Velo facing a ban in Kenya?
Velo is facing a ban in Kenya due to concerns about its health risks and effects and inadequate packaging warnings. Lawmakers and health officials are urging the government to investigate and take action.
What is Velo primarily used for?
Velo is primarily used as a smoking cessation aid. It provides a source of nicotine without the harmful effects of traditional cigarettes, helping individuals quit smoking.
What are the common side effects of using Velo?
Common side effects of using Velo include headaches, nausea, mouth or throat pain, coughing, runny or stuffy nose, and changes in taste. These side effects are often a result of nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
What precautions should I take when using Velo?
Before using Velo, consult your doctor or pharmacist, especially if you have allergies or underlying medical conditions. Pregnant and breastfeeding individuals should use Velo only under medical guidance.
What is the status of the review of the Tobacco Act of 2007 in Kenya?
The Ministry of Health has initiated a review of the Tobacco Act of 2007 in response to concerns about nicotine products like Velo. The goal is to ensure appropriate regulation and safety standards.