More girls smoke cigarettes, use shisha daily than men in Ghana — Report reveals

Research Findings More girls smoke cigarettes, use shisha daily than men in Ghana —Report reveals

A report has revealed that young girls in Ghana are smoking cigarettes and using "shisha" on a daily basis than young men.

The statistics presented during a seminar indicate that more than 2700 boys and 3100 girls smoke cigarettes each day, with shisha use being higher in girls (1.7%) than in boys (1.6%).

This difference may be attributed to the misconception that shisha is a safer alternative to cigarettes.

The findings come from a seminar organized by the level 400 students of the Evaluation Group from the Public Health Nurses' School Korle-Bu.

An Addiction Specialist, Charles Osei from Korle-Bu teaching hospital spoke on the topic “Drug Abuse (shisha and electronic smoking) among the youth, its economic and health implications.”

According to the Addiction Specialist, several factors contribute to the increasing rate of drug abuse, shisha and cigarette smoking among the youth in Ghana.

These include the high unemployment rate, general economic situation, peer pressure, curiosity, homelessness and streetism.

These challenges have led to alarming rates of substance use disorders among young people.

He said, "The number of drug users in Africa is projected to rise in the next decade by as much as 40% because of the demographic peculiarities of the region."

“The population in Africa is relatively younger; hence the rate of drug abuse is higher among young people than old," he added.

In Ghana, 93 men and 39 women die weekly from tobacco use.

Also, non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke also absorb harmful compounds, putting their health at risk.

Jemima Odonkor, the Head of Tobacco and Tobacco Products department at the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), warned that “the greater the exposure to second-hand smoke, the higher the level of harmful compounds in the body, even for non-smokers.”

Globally, the World Drug Report of 2021 revealed that around 275 million people used drugs, with over 36 million people suffering from drug use disorders.

Projections indicate that the number of people using drugs will increase by 11 percent by 2030 due to demographic changes, with low-income countries like Ghana being significantly affected.

Gideon Afful Amoako
Gideon Afful Amoako

News ReporterPage: GideonAffulAmoako