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Ghana’s Public Health Act passed in 2012 with measures to control tobacco in the country has no provisions for the regulation of electronic cigarettes and shisha.
This is a growing concern that has come to the attention of the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ghana Health (GHS) Service. To this effect, measures are being put in place to ensure that there is a complete ban of e-cigarettes and shisha in Ghana latest by the middle of this year. A Principal Research Officer at the GHS, Divine Logo, hinted of this move in an interview with journalists on the sidelines of the 17th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) held recently in Cape Town, South Africa.
According to him, “Electronic Nicotine Device (END) is not captured under our tobacco law, they are saying it is not tobacco, meanwhile it is tobacco. All the effects of smoking is in shisha and e-cigarettes”.
Though the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) is the agency mandated by the law to enforce the tobacco control measures in Ghana, Logo said, the law in its current form does not give the FDA the right to control shisha or electronic cigarettes in the country.
“However, we are working with the Ministry of Health now to ban shisha and e-cigarettes because shisha use is more harmful than (traditional) cigarettes. One puff of shisha is equal to one full cigarette that you smoke so it is more dangerous than cigarette,” Logo stated.
He said “we are taking steps to ban it. The focal person on tobacco control is collaborating with other agencies (on this) and I can assure you that by the middle of this year that would have been done….if there are no hindrances, surely shisha would be banned,” he stated.
He is hopeful that the success story of the ban on shisha as told by Kenya would be repeated by Ghana.
Source: Jeorge Wilson Kingson || ghananewsonline.com.gh