Dec 14, 2011, 12:57 PM
The programme, held at the Father Farrell Hall at Westfield, brought together school children from various Upper Basic and Senior Secondary schools within the greater Banjul Area on the theme: “Let’s talk about smoking and drug abuse”.
According to Joseph Hassan, the founder and CEO of Second Chance The Gambia, his organization is a charitable body that partners with stakeholders such as Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education to embark on ongoing awareness campaign.
He said they have realized that many young people indulge in smoking and abuse of drugs without knowing the negative effects of it.
He said once they started taking these drugs and become addicted to it, the possibility to take them out of it is very slim; this is why they came up with the initiative to engage school-going youth.
He thanked the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education and NDEA for their support to the campaign
Speaking at the occasion, Dr Hassan Azadeh, a medical doctor and senior lecturer at the UTG, said smoking cigarette results to lung cancer.
Dr Azadeh noted that nicotine in cigarette is what causes the problem. “When you smoke through your mouth; it enters the blood systems then to the brain,” he said.
He added that drug addiction is a complex brain disease characteristic, compulsive, at times uncontrollable, drug craving and use that persist even in the face of extremely negative consequences.
For his part, David Kujabi, police PRO, said some of the students will assume temptation from friends to smoke but advice them to resist saying their parents are doing their part feeding them, giving them all the basic needs.
He said smoking is very bad and once they start it they will die before knowing it.He said it will shatter their dreams of becoming journalists, teachers, doctors etc.
Kujabbi said as a passenger in a vehicle and one start smoking the driver has the right to ask you to stop and if you refuse he should ask you to get out of his car without returning your fare.
He said if you are found in public places smoking, if convicted, one can be liable to a fine of D500 or not less than D200.