By: Adama Makasuba
Health officials have announced at a press conference during the weekend held at National Accreditation Quality Control Assurance that the enforcement of Comprehensive Tobacco Act will take effect before the end of 2019.
The move according to the officials is aim at curtailing tobacco mayhem. The press conference was organized by RAID-The Gambia.
The Act was implemented in 2013 after Gambia’s ratifying the World Health Organization’s FCTC on June 5 2005 and enforced the tobacco control law in 2016.
Speaking at the press conference, Modou Njie health director said: “we have a lot of work to do, we need to fight and enemy and the enemy is tobacco and we need to ensure that we try to educate on the danger of use of tobacco.”
He warned parents who send their children’s to buying cigarette that “is illegal” and that anyone who smokes needs to smoke a distance of 100 meter (size of a football field).
“People have to understand that both pregnant and lactating women wherever they are seated they are not supposed to smoke tobacco around them,” he warned.
Momodou Gassama, official at World Health Organization said: “people who were dying because of second hand smoke was somehow years ago was about 600, 000 people but current estimate as far as WHO ‘s recent estimate is concerned nearly one million people die now are due to people smoking second-hand or inhaling or expose to second-hand smoking.”
“We’ve been quoting 6 years back that nearly 6 million people were dying now it is far more than that. The conservative estimate is that almost 8 million or more people die every year of tobacco instead of that 6 million people,” he added.
He said among the measures that could help fight against the use of tobacco that it is by enforcing drastic measures on the use of tobacco, adding that WHO report indicates that tobacco use has decline drastically across the world.