The World Health Organisation has revealed that tobacco waste contains over 7000 toxic chemicals that poison the environment, including human carcinogens.
According to WHO, tobacco smoke emissions contribute thousands of tons of human carcinogens, toxicants and greenhouse gases to the environment and tobacco waste is the largest type of litter by count globally.
"Up to 10 billion of the 15 billion cigarettes sold daily are disposed in the environment. Cigarette button account for 30 - 40% of all items collected in coastal and urban clean - ups. Tobacco threatens women, children and livelihood".
According to WHO, around 860 million adults smokers live in low and middle income countries. "Many studies have shown that in the poorest households, spending on tobacco products often represents more than 10% of total household expenditures. Less money for food, education and healthcare".
WHO recognises the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs of The Gambia for implementing a sound, effective and evidence - based tobacco taxation policy in line with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. "This has yielded the level of smoking. The Gambia's experience is being widely shared with countries in the African Region and beyond".