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1hr Shisha use equivalent to smoking 200 cigarettes – FDA

The Chief Executive Officer of Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Mrs Delese Mimi Darko, has urged individuals to stop smoking of Shisha, saying that “just one hour of shisha use is equivalent to smoking about 200 cigarettes.”

She stated that, eight million people die worldwide as a result of the use of tobacco products which could have been prevented. 

“Let us acknowledge the stark reality before us: tobacco stands as one of the foremost perpetrators of preventable death worldwide, claiming over 8 million lives annually. It’s a public health crisis that spares no one, particularly our children,” she said. 

The CEO whose speech was delivered on her behalf by the Deputy CEO for Corporate Services Division, Mrs Yvonne Nkrumah, on Friday in Accra to commemorate the World No Tobacco Day, said a survey conducted by Global Youth Tobacco 2017, showed that 8.8 percent of students were using tobacco products which included shisha, while 8.5 percent were turning to Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems like e-cigs and vapes. 

The World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is an annual event held on May 31 across the World to emphasise the harmful effects of tobacco and other tobacco products on health.

The theme for this year’s commemoration is “Protecting children from tobacco industry interference.”

The event which was organised by FDA in collaboration with Ministry of Health (MoH), World Health Organization (WHO), Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Vision for Alternative Development-Ghana (VALD), was to help raise awareness about the strategies employed by the tobacco industry to lure children and adolescents.

Mrs Darko noted that, the tobacco industry, with its “insidious marketing strategies, preys upon our youth, ensnaring them in a web of addiction and suffering.”

Earlier, Deputy Minister of Health, Mr Alexander Akwasi Acquah, said through the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Project 2030, there had been the successful development of a 5-year National Tobacco Control Strategy being implemented.

He said there had been marked improvement in the strengthening of inter-agency coordination, revision of the smoke free policy, implementation and enforcement on the ban on tobacco advertisement.

The Head of Research Unit of GRA, Dr Alex Kombat, said Tobacco Excise Tax Revenue has grown from Ghc 66.98 million in 2017 to Ghc 936 million in 2023, however, it costs the country GHȻ668 Million every year to fight the use of tobacco. 

BY CECILIA LAGBA YADA

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