Mutahi Kagwe bans popular nicotine drug lyft

Lyft becomes the second nicotine based drug to be banned after a similar ban on shisha

File image of Health CS Mutahi Kagwe

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe has withdrawn the license allowing the sale of popular nicotine drug - lyft.

Kagwe, in a letter directed to Pharmacy and Poisons Board CEO Fred Siyoi, said the registration of the license allowing the drugs to be sold in Kenya was illegal and ordered its immediate revocation.

The CS also asked Siyoi to explain the procedure that was followed in allowing Lyft to be registered as a pharmaceutical.

"The nicotine pouches neither meet the descriptions of 'Part I Poison' nor "Part II poison' as prescribed in the Act. 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 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," Kagwe said.

Lyft has gained popularity as a recreational drug among the youth although its manufacturer, British American Tobacco (BAT) marketed it as a drug assisting people battling cigarettes' addiction.

The drug is mixed with sweet flavors and packed in a thin membrane pouch. The user then inserts it between the teeth and the lower lip for the drug to be absorbed into the body.

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