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Ex-Sami NAM applauds Gambian Media

Sep 30, 2010, 1:15 PM | Article By: Manlafie Badjie

Idrissa Samba Sallah, former National Assembly Member for Sami constituency has lauded members of the Gambian media for their role in sensitising the public on the 1998 Act prohibiting smoking in public places.

Sallah, who first proposed a private member bill to ban smoking in public places, which was passed and enacted by the National Assembly in June 1998, was speaking in an interview with our reporter during a visit he paid to our office Tuesday.

"I am happy to hear that the law enforcement officers have recently been sensitised on the Act, and have promised that they would surely enforce it," Sallah told our reporter. According to him, The Gambia was one of the first countries in the world to enact such a bill.

This, he added, has truly shown the concern the government has for public health.

He urged all law-enforcement officers to ensure that the "No Smoking" sticker is clearly stamped on all public transport, as mentioned in the Act.

Idrissa Samba Sallah also called on the populace to be very vigilant in any crowd or public gathering to enforce the Act.

"I would also like to advise the drivers to abide by the law, and not to smoke in public transport," he said, while urging parents who are smokers to avoid smoking in the presence of their children, and not to send them to buy tobacco.

He also urged teachers who are smokers, handling children at schools, not to smoke while within the school premises. Sallah also urged local government authorities, the council of elders and youth in general to help in the dissemination of the contents of the Act.

It would be recalled that Idrissa Samba Sallah as a member of the National Assembly proposed the private member bill, which was passed and enacted to ban smoking in all public places.

For his role in promoting tobacco control in the Gambia, he won an international award from the World Health Organisation in 2000.