Youths and tobacco in the Gambia
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African Network for Information and Action Against Drug (RAID-The Gambia), Gambia
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A402
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Background and challenges to implementation:
Studies have shown that, the use of tobacco is still on the increase in the Gambia especially among the youth folk of the populace. Several studies were conducted over the years to determine the prevalence of tobacco use in different contexts showed interesting revelations.
Tobacco use prevalence: Male 34%, Female 1.5% (WHO 2010)
youth aged 13-15 years 24% (GYTS 2008); no data on smokeless tobacco
Even though, Gambia has made significant achievements over the past years on tobacco control, there´s no proper implementation or effective enforcement plan for tobacco control legislation that will minimize the use of tobacco among young people in the Gambia.

Intervention or response:
The Gambia has developed a tobacco control strategy and enforcement of various tobacco control legislation, particularly the Prohibition of Smoking (in public places) and Ban on advertisement of tobacco products in 2003, packaging and labeling of tobacco product in October 2010 and the recent comprehensive tobacco control law in December 30th 2016.

Results and lessons learnt:

1. Coordination is very powerful in tobacco control
2.The connection between government institutions and civil society is indeed crucial for tobacco control
3. The involvement of youths, women's group and religious leaders is essential in tobacco control
4. Advocacy, sensitization and awareness creation on tobacco among the different age cohort is crucial
5. The involvement of media fraternity in tobacco control is needed

Conclusions and key recommendations:

1. Strengthen coordination between the civil society tobacco control advocates, multi-sectoral working group and law enforcement body for effective and efficient control and implementation of the comprehensive tobacco control law in the Gambia
2. Build the capacity of tobacco control advocates particularly the CSO, journalist/ or Health journalist at country level to effectively monitor and control tobacco
3. Provide Evidence through research and expertise on TC