According to scientific reports, there are approximately over 4,000 chemicals in cigarettes, hundreds of which are said to be toxic and very treacherous to human health. Smoking is not only limited in houses but in the streets, in public gatherings. The primary question is: why do people smoke in the first place? Some smokers assert that they enjoy it. The second question is: Why do people smoke in public? Perhaps no unadulterated reason can be advanced.
However, the debate on the deadly effects of smoking on human health has over the years gained momentum. In The Gambia, tobacco use is shown to be responsible for 5% of deaths. Indeed, our people are dying of tobacco. Measures to deal with public smoking have become the concern of not only health experts, but lawmakers and security personnel.
The ingredients in cigarettes affect everything from the internal functioning of organs to the efficiency of the body’s immune system. Their effects are destructive and widespread.
In recent years, the National Assembly enacted the anti-tobacco law, prohibiting public smoking as the country was among the first countries to ratify the convention on tobacco control.
Though measures have been taken against public smoking in the country, more stringent and resolute actions are needed to put a stop to this appalling situation.
We know the government has decided to enforce the anti-public smoking law but more enforcement and actions are needed NOW. But in essence, it should be the responsibility of everyone. No one should hesitate to report any person of any position or calibre to the nearest police station or relevant authority for public smoking. Let us start setting examples and we will have a free tobacco society.]]>