Gambia, in collaboration with partners, informed the general public that the
long struggle in the development and enactment of the Tobacco Control Act of
2016 has finally succeeded.
As part of this development, RAID-The Gambia with partners held a press conference on Wednesday to disseminate information across the length and breadth of the country.
According to officials, the objective of the Act is to protect people from the devastating health risk of tobacco. Tobacco is one of the leading causes of death in the world.
Speaking at the briefing, the Executive Director of RAID-The Gambia, Sambujang Conteh, said tobacco kills 3 to 4 million people worldwide annually and will kill nearly half of all its active users.
He said the Key part of the Act is a tobacco-smoke free environment. This means the prohibition of smoking in all public places, workplaces, on public transport and within 100 meters of others while smoking.
He thanked the media fraternity for the coverage as well as the ministry of health, WHO country office and the donors to the RAID capacity building project for their support in aiming to make The Gambia a tobacco-free society.
For his part, Omar Badjie, program manager of Tobacco Control, said tobacco control should be a collective effort as they cannot do it alone.
According to him, The Gambia is the leading country in terms of Tobacco control in Africa region.
He emphasized the dangers of Tobacco, saying it could cause cancer, heart disease, stomach ulcers, and deformed sperm among other conditions.
Mr Badjie expressed hope that the bill enacted will go a long way in the sanitisation of the country and disease control.
Momodou Gassama, who also spoke at the event, said people are dying secretly as a result of smoking.
The deputy director of health promotion and education at the Ministry of Health, Sajally Trawally, joined previous speakers to emphasise the danger of smoking. He also urged the general public to stay away from tobacco.