Monday, June 8, 2009

Pupils smoking rate alarming – Survey

A survey conducted by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has indicated that 50 out of 1000 pupils surveyed smoke cigarette every day, a Principal Health Research Officer of GHS, Mrs Edith Wellington, has said.Mrs Wellington said though the numbers might not be that huge the rate at which pupils were taking to smoking was alarming and drastic measures were needed to address the problem.In an address to mark the post World No Tobacco Day in Accra last Saturday, Mrs Wellington said the measures were needed because children who smoked at their early stages stood the risk of many harmful effects of the smoke and were likely to get addicted at an adult age.The event was organised by Coalition of Non-governmental Organisations in Tobacco Control (CNTC) and was to create awareness on the harm tobacco use caused to the individual and the community, as well as to sensitise Ghanaians to the tobacco control bill which is expected to be passed by the end of the year.Mrs Wellington said the GHS had trained a number of teachers across the country to educate children on the dangers of smoking and had embarked on awareness creation programmes in some selected schools in the country.She said the GHS was working in collaboration with stakeholders such as the Ghana Education Service (GES) and Ministry of Health (MoH) to reduce the menace.She said a draft bill for tobacco control was ready to be sent to Parliament for approval and implementation.When passed the law will ban the smoking of tobacco at public places for the safety of non-smokers in the country.The law will also ensure that children below the age of 18 are not sent to buy cigarette or allowed to sell the product.The Vice-President of CNTC, Mr. Oscar Bruce, called on the government to speed up the passage of the tobacco control bill.That, he said, would reduce the harmful effects of tobacco on individuals and ensure the health of people.The President of HealthPage Ghana, an NGO, Dr John Kwawurah, said cigarettes contained a substance called nicotine, an addictive chemical that made it difficult for smokers to stop smoking.Additionally, cigarettes also contain about 4000 dangerous substances or chemicals that can cause cancers of the lungs, lips, tongue, throat and eye problems, hypertension and other heart-related diseases.He said non-smokers who inhaled cigarette smoke were even at a higher risk than the smokers because smokers smoked out 85 percent of the content of the cigarette leaving non-smokers to inhale it.He said lung diseases, which were rare, had become very common in hospitals these days as a result of smoking.Dr Kwawurah said pregnant women who smoked tobacco were at risk of giving birth to babies with deformities or having miscarriages. Additionally, tobacco could also lead to impotence in men.He advised the youth to stay away from tobacco and avoid peers who would try to influence them into smoking, since it could lead to addiction and pose serious health threats to them and other people.Mr, Sophia Twum-Barima a representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) stressed the need for people to be sensitised on the implications of smoking and inhaling tobacco smoke to protect the health of the public.
Source:Daily Graphic

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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