RAID-The Gambia briefs WCR Councilors on 2016 Tobacco Control Act

Monday, June 18, 2018

West Coast Region Ward Councilors have been sensitized on the 2016 Tobacco Control Act of The Gambia by Africa Network for Information and Action Against Drug (RAID-The Gambia), a non-governmental organisation championing the anti-smoking campaign including substance abuse, illicit drugs trafficking, Aids / HIV and teenage pregnancy among others.

Held at the Regional governor’s office in Brikama on Wednesday, the day sensitisation exposed the councilors to the effects of cigarette smoking, penalties of the Act, sale and display of Tobacco or its related products.

In May, the organisation sensitized fifty youth leaders in the Region on the Act, where its Executive Director Samboujang Conteh acknowledged that tobacco companies continue to target young people to be in the frontline in marketing their products, adding that this is why his organisation also targets youth groups to sensitize them on their activities.

RAID vice chairperson Lamin Sonko shared that the Act puts in place offences and penalties including smoking inside or within 100 meters of a public and work place, public transport or any other place that provides services primarily to minors with a fine between 1000 to 2500 dalasis or imprisonment for up to three months or both.

Fatoumatta Komma from the Non-Communicable Unit of the health ministry said government earned about 4 to 5 million dalasis on tobacco tax annually after the establishment of the non-communicable unit in 2013, saying the country is experiencing high taxation on tobacco and its products.