Ministries urged to reinforce ‘no-smoking’ in work places
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has urged all government ministries to continue to enforce the ‘no-smoking’ declaration in all work places under their jurisdiction.
Momodou Lamin Ceesay was speaking on Thursday on behalf of Fatim Badjie, Minister of Health and Social Welfare, during the celebration of the World No-Tobacco Day at the Brufut Lower Basic School in Brufut, Kombo North District, West Coast Region. The theme for this year’s celebration was “Tobacco industry’s interference”.
According to him, the campaign will focus on the need to expose and counter the tobacco industry’s brazen and increasingly aggressive attempts to undermine the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, because of the serious public health implications associated with its use.
“Tobacco use is one of the leading preventable causes of death worldwide. The global tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people each year, of which more than 5 million are users or ex-users and more than 6000, 000 are non-users who are second-hand or passive smokers. Unless we act by the year 2030, of which more than 80% will be those living in low and middle-income countries including The Gambia,” he said.
With more countries moving to fully meet their obligations under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, he said the tobacco industry’s efforts to undermine the treaty are becoming more and more real and thus posing a toaugh public healthy challenge globally. He said that this year’s commemoration is aimed at educating policy makers and the general public about the tobacco industry’s aggressive and harmful tactics in a bid to damage public health.
to Ceesay, Article 5.3 of the Convention states that “In setting and
implementing public health policies with respect to tobacco control, parties
shall act to protect these policies from commercial and other vested interests
of the tobacco industry in accordance with national laws.”
He added that the guidelines to the implementation of Article 5.3 stated that parties are recommended to raise awareness about the tobacco industry’s interference with parties’ tobacco control policies. One such brave and admirable move, he went on, is the introduction of the ‘Health Warnings” on the tobacco and tobacco products destined for use in The Gambia, which came into effect in October 2010.
Speaking earlier, the headmistress of the school, Sarjo Gassama expressed delight at the celebration, adding is a privilege to host the World No-Tobacco Day celebration.Tobacco, she said, is very harmful both physically and mentally while urging Gambians and non-Gambians to refrain from smoking at all times.
Author: Arfang Camara & Bintou K.B Janneh