Anti-Tobacco Agency, Jaishi Youth Initiative (JYI), has begun a petition to ban the importation and use of water pipe tobacco smoking products, popularly known as “Shisha” in Ghana.
According to the NGO, the assimilation of “vaping culture” by use of shisha into the Ghanaian lifestyle will have serious health implications on the youth.
The founder of the NGO, Benefo Isaac Ampomah, asserted that, despite the smoking of shisha being branded as “trendy”, it actually causes more harm to users than cigarettes.
He noted that “an hour smoking session of shisha is equivalent to 100 sticks of cigarettes” and that such harmful practice is being wholesomely embraced by the youth in Ghana.
Mr Amponsah argued that, despite Ghana being part of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tobacco Control community, the actual framework to cease the use of Tobacco in Ghana is not being followed by the authorities.
“The tobacco control alliance is only on paper, it is not being implemented as it should”
“It’s been 15 years Ghana assented to tobacco control, however the country has not properly evaluated the framework and initiatives to know [how effective the fight against has been so far]”.
According to him, the worsening statistics of the effects of smoking has informed the NGO’s plan to push for the ban of Shisha in Ghana.
The Jaishi Youth Initiative is a Non Governmental Organization that seeks to sensitize the Ghanaian public, particularly the youth on the harmful effects of smoking in general, aimed at significantly reducing smoking habits.
The NGO uses street/trotro campaigns and organized community events to educate the youth on the need to quit smoking as soon as possible. They also collaborate with educational institutions to raise awareness.
The NGO believes that, the non-availability of correctional centers for smokers in Ghana has made it tougher to deal with smoking addiction problems. Therefore, it becomes urgent to establish one considering the alarming rates of smoking and substance abuse in Ghana.
Source: Jonas Danquah || ghananewsonline.com.gh