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As part of the efforts to commemorate this year’s World No-Tobacco Day (WNTD) event in Ghana, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and its collaborators, including, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ghana Health Service (GHS), the Ministry of Health and the Vision for Alternative Development (VALD) – a member of the Inter Agency Committee on Tobacco Control has held a pre-national launch with a sensitization walk.
The activity was aimed at creating and raising awareness on the dangers of smoking and its negative effects on individuals and the national economy.
On Saturday May 25, hundreds of people made up of civil society activists, public officials, students and journalists converged in front of the Madina Police station in Accra and patrolled through the streets in front of Asanka Locals, then through UPSA and finally to Presec Legon where a sensitization message delivered to the students.
The main event is slated for Friday May 31, at the premises of the FDA.
The main launch which is expected to climax the WNTD celebrations will be on Friday May 31, 2019 at the conference room of the FDA.
Olivia Boateng who is responsible for Tobacco and Substances at the FDA highlighted the dangers of Shisha use which according to her has become a trending issue especially among the youth in Ghana. She disabused the perception that shisha use is fashionable and trendy, stating that it is a highway to the grave.
“We are telling you that there are no safe forms for tobacco use, so the shisha, the e-cigarettes, the combustible ones are all not safe, they all contain nicotine and other toxics that are very addictive and affect every part of your body,”.
She said the FDA has started a campaign against shisha use in the country and that it is expected that the youth would carry the message to their colleagues. She emphasized the fact that there is no benefit for tobacco use.
The theme for this year’s WNTD celebrations is “tobacco and lung health”.
“The emphasis is what tobacco does to your lungs as you smoke. Even for the people we call passive smokers – those who happen to be in the presence of the people who smoke, so if you are asthmatic and you are not smoking yourself but somebody close to you is smoking, the risk of you getting the attack increases. It exacerbates TB and increases the risk of you getting lung cancer. So it affects every part of your body, but this year we are emphasizing on the lung health. We expect you to talk to everybody else who is not here, the campaign continues till we do the main launch,” she stated.
A representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) urged a change in the lifestyle of the youth so as to enable for better health.
“Once you change your lifestyle you will able to resist from engaging in some of these things. Not only tobacco use, alcohol use is also a big emerging issue in Ghana, so we need to make a lot of noise, we need to create a lot of awareness so that the youth especially understand the repercussions and change their lifestyle and behavior,” she stated.
Source: Jeorge Wilson Kingson || ghananewsonline.com.gh