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Tobacco Control essential

Mar 13, 2013, 10:16 AM

The dangers associated with tobacco smoking are well known by many, including the smokers, manufacturers and traders, yet tobacco is highly consumed in many countries, including The Gambia.

Even though it has been banned to promote and publicise tobacco in the country, the commodity is still well consumed here.

Despite the measures, many people are becoming addicted to tobacco consumption in the country, especially among youths.

In our view, the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control must be implemented to the fullest.

Smoking it has been said causes serious health risks such as getting cancer, strokes and heart disease and, more seriously, it kills.

Described as the leading preventable cause of death in the world, Tobacco effects kill more than five million people annually.

In fact, according to health experts, tobacco smoke that is inhaled causes lung cancer, sinus disease and chronic obstructive lung disease.

We are also told that second-hand smoking is equally serious and accounts for many deaths as well.

We wish to applaud all stakeholders including the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the WHO country office for their efforts in fighting against tobacco use in The Gambia.

There should be more efforts in raising awareness of young people on the harm associated with tobacco, drugs and substance abuse, and prepare them to be responsible future leaders.

There must be more concerted efforts in implementing the anti-tobacco bill to protect the innocent people from harm as a result of smoking.

We urge the enforcement of the Prohibition of Smoking (Public Places) Act 1998.

The Act provides for the prohibition of the smoking of tobacco in public places.