Members of Parliament on Wednesday called for the ban of Velo, a nicotine substance allegedly abused by the youths in Kenya.
While making her submission, nominated MP Sabina Chege asked Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha to explain to the house the pharmaceutical components of the Velo substance, including its addictive nature and side effects of the said drug.
Nakhumicha was appearing before the National Assembly.
She also asked the CS to explain the regulatory mechanisms that the ministry has put in place to restrict access to the substance from minors.
“The CS should clarify if the substance has sneaked its way into the Kenyan market as a rebrand of lift that was banned by the government in 2019,” Sabina said.
The MP noted that the house would also like to get clarifications on whether Velo is manufactured in Kenya, and by whom, including details of the manufacturing.
As Sabina concluded her submission, she quickly showed two samples of the velo substance, saying she had come with them to the house to show members what it was.
In her conclusion, Sabina Chege noted that the substance should be banned until the substance is investigated properly.
“This way we can save our generation and our children.”
Nominated MP Nyakerario Mayaka in her submission stated that the type of vel0 that is sold in Kenya is different from the one sold in countries like Australia.
“The substance sold in Kenya is the one that has a higher level of addiction. If you walk to a petrol station, you can buy it, and they don’t even ask for an Identification Card,” she said.
“I can tell you out of the experience just to understand how it works, for five minutes velo takes you to heaven and quickly brings you back to Earth.”
While responding to the submissions, Nakumicha said Velo products that the tobacco industry has introduced to the market is a non-pharmaceutical substance that is composed of organic nicotine derived from tobacco leaves.
“The Ministry has already put in place regulatory mechanisms to restrict the sale of Velo which she said is regulated as a tobacco product under the Tobacco Control Act 2007.”
Nakhumicha noted that the Speaker made a declaration that Velo be removed from the market, then the Ministry of Health would be the happiest.
“We shall have saved the lives of many Kenyans. But we are all relying on the Tobacco Act of 2007,” said the CS.
“We have put together a technical team to review the Tobacco Act, 2007 and they shall be bringing it to the house.”
She noted that Velo is imported from Hungary and distributed in the country by BAT Kenya Limited.
“All nicotine pouches are imported.”