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City of Banjul
Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Police to arrest public smokers

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By Mafugi Ceesay

The Inspector General of Police, Mamour Jobe, has told journalists that the police will intensify crackdown on people breaking the Public Smoking and Tobacco Control Act.

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Under the Act, no one is allowed to puff in public.

Since the act came into effect, there has not been much success in its enforcement as public smoking is still rampant.  Now though, various stakeholders have solicited the police to play their role in its enforcement by arresting people who smoke in public.

Explaining the new stands of the police on the issue, IGP Jobe said: “Henceforth it will be an offence to smoke in all public places, including health facilities, markets, offices, public transports, schools, airport, car parks, Restaurant, hostels, prisons, police cells, public toilets and corridors.”

The IGP added that there are no specific smoking zones created so far but even if they are created, they will have to be far from public space. “All forms of tobacco advertisements, displaying tobacco products at points of sale, selling of single cigarette or packets less than 20 sticks and selling to minors are all prohibited,” IGP Jobe warned the public.

Ebrima Bah, Assistant Inspector General of Police, said the public smoking Act has been around since 2016 but its enforcement was lacking despite the fact that all protocols surrounding it have been met, including taking it to the National Assembly and proclamation by both Saffie Lowe Ceesay, former health minister and vice president Dr Isatou Touray. “This is why the support of the police is solicited to enforce it after having series of consultative meetings with RAID The Gambia and health ministry. It will now be enforced and the public is encouraged to cooperate and strictly obey the law prohibiting smoking in public places,” AIG Bah noted.

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