Statistics have indicated that more than 425,200 men, 69,200 women, and 2,700 boys smoke cigarettes each day killing about 75 men weekly, making it an on-going dire public health threat.
According to the Ghana Youth Tobacco survey, 2017, about 1.5% of JHS girls used shisha to that of 1.6% boys in the country due to a misconception that shisha is a safer alternative to cigarette.
The Disease Control and Prevention Department of the Ghana Health Service is worried by the high rate of shisha smoking among Junior High School (JHS) girls.
Dr. Kyei Faried, head of disease control and prevention of Ghana health service, described the current situation as worrying, saying shisha is very harmful to the health of smokers, especially females, and urged them to desist from the practice.
"Shisha contains tobacco and tobacco has over 70 poisonous substances and nothing good in it,” he stated.
Latest survey shows, one out of every 50 junior high school girl smokes shisha, Dr. Faried noted and called on all to join in the fight against the use of all forms of tobacco
He noted Ghana has no future if one out of every 50 junior high school girls smokes shisha and therefore called on pastors, Imams, the media and all to join in the campaign to stop smoking.
Dr Faried urged smokers to make conscious efforts to stop smoking saying “when one decides to stop smoking, within a year all the over 70 poisonous substances leaves the bloodstream so it is possible, desist from smoking and you will be fine”.
Globally, eight (8) million people are killed by tobacco epidemic of which more than one (1) million people who themselves do not smoke, but die from breathing second-hand smoke by living with them or simply being around them.
However between the year 2000 to 2016, tobacco smoking prevalence rates declined from 27% to 20%. Hence the pace of action to reduce tobacco demand and related deaths and disease is still lagging behind other global and national commitments.
In a speech delivered by the chief executive officer of FDA, madam Delese Mimi Darko on Monday 3rd, June, 2019 in Accra to climax World No Tobacco Day, indicated that, the world will only achieve 22% reduction in tobacco smoking by 2025 instead of 30% by 2025 if the trend continues.
According to her, tobacco smoking exposed to second-hand smoke increase the risk of contracting many lung diseases, adding that, smoking causes 90% of lung cancer deaths and approximately 8 out of 10 deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
The theme for this year's World No Tobacco Day is "Tobacco and Lung Health", with the tagline don't let tobacco take your breath away, choose health no tobacco.