A well-known goalkeeper and football coach both in his native Senegal and across West Africa, Lamine Thiare uses his considerable influence to transmit a simple message to young people: “Do not smoke!” he warns them emphatically.
Growing up, Lamine saw how smoking damaged his own father’s health. “He had no appetite, his body was weak. But when he quit, he was in good shape and ate better,” Lamine recalls.
In Senegal, 9.2% of students aged 13–15 use tobacco, according to the 2020 Global Youth Tobacco Survey findings of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
In addition to developing the football skills of the numerous young players he coaches, Lamine also uses the practice field to school them on the damage that smoking can cause. He reminds them every day that tobacco can bring a premature end to a career in sports.
“Not smoking has allowed me to enjoy a long football career,” Lamine says. “We coaches must lead by example. That is why I am involved in the fight against tobacco.”