Senegal on the frontline of the battle with Big Tobacco
DAKAR, 19 November 2013 (IRIN) - Djité Sekou, 32, smokes as he passes his nights guarding one of the many high-rise apartment buildings in Dakar, Senegal. It has been eight years since his first cigarette - a Monte Carlo from Morocco - and when money is available he goes through 20 to 30 per day. It is an addiction that can cost him up to a quarter of his monthly income.
Like most smokers in Senegal, he rarely buys a full packet, preferring to purchase cigarettes individually - a sales strategy tobacco companies employ to ensure that even those with limited means are able to afford their daily nicotine.
“If my pocket is heavy, I buy the full packet,” explained Sekou. “If my pocket is empty, I buy four Excellence [cigarettes] at 100 [CFA] francs [US$0.20].”