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28.03.2007 General News

No Smoking at Public Places

By charles nii ayiku

Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has called on the Ghana Government to ban smoking in public places.

According to him, if the government failed to do that through the passage of a bill into law, he would lead a number of anti-smoking campaigners to keep-fit clubs, churches and other places where people gather collect signatures from them and march to the Castle with the signatures to protest against what he termed foot dragging by the government.

He made this call at a seminar in Accra, where results of a survey on smoking were disseminated. The survey, conducted by the GHS in October and November 2006, revealed that 96 per cent of Ghanaians were in favour of legislation on tobacco control and said “the voice of the people should be the voice of the government”.

“If the voice of the people is not the voice of the government, then something is wrong,” he added.

Prof. Akosa also took the opportunity to advice heads of the various universities in the country to stop receiving financial donations from companies that produce and distribute tobacco because the activities of the company destroyed human lives.

Educating media personnel on some of the harmful effects of tobacco smoke, Prof. Akosa said it contained more than 5,000 chemicals which destroyed the smoothness of the lining of the blood vessels and, consequently, compromised the ability of the blood to pump to areas in the body.

He said once the chemicals got into the blood, they seeped into the bladder and other organs in the body and caused cancers.

He mentioned such other diseases that resulted from the use of tobacco as cataracts, hearing loss, tooth decay, osteoporosis, heart disease, stomach ulcers, discoloured fingers, cervical cancer and miscarriage, deformed sperm and impotence.