The Gambia’s ministry of health in partnership with the Gambia Police Force has launched an enforcement ban on public smoking that saw offenders arrested.

The Gambia tobacco law prohibits smoking in all indoor workplaces, public spaces, and on all means of public transport. 

However, despite the laws, public smoking still persist in the country.

Speaking to reporters at a news conference held at the Medical Store in Kotu, Omar Badjie, programme manager of tobacco control said they have already made some arrests and confiscated items of violators.

“I know plans are underway and it’s going to be a very, very big challenge. Because in the African region there is no control that completely banned tobacco. 

“The enforcement of the law is collective responsibility especially with this present generation it will be very difficult to enforce laws if people in the community level don’t strengthen the law themselves.

Mr Badjie added: “This is why we make life difficult for people not to smoke hundred metres away from the next person and we don’t distingush smoking areas but if you want to smoke you should be not do it public spaces. 

“Make sure people don’t smoke next to you other than that it will be difficult for us.”

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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