Skip to main content

Danger! - Minors openly engaged in tobacco trade and use


By: Attah-Effah Badu-Daily Express

Contrarily to article 16 of the Public Health act 2012 (act 851) which prohibits persons under eighteen years of age from buying, selling or been exposed to tobacco products,an investigation by the Daily Express Newspaper has uncovered an alarming development at the La Pleasure Beach resort in Accra where minors as young as 9 and 12 years are engaged in tobacco trade.

These children, some of whom are in  primary school  overtly sell cigarettes and offer Shishasmoking (water pipe ) services to  holiday makers at the popular beach resort  , with some going the extra  mile of demonstrating how some of these products are used.

Series of visits to the beach by a Daily Express reporter revealed that these minors sell the tobacco products on behalf of some adults for commissions, disregarding the immense health implications.
In the case of the provision of Shisha services by these children,the investigation found that most of them have had a taste of the product which has been described by the World Health Organization (WHO) as hazardous to human health.

In one instance , one of  the minors , an 11 years old  Kofi ( not his real name ) in an attempt to persuade our reporter to patronise  his  shisha service  for  a Ghc20.00 fee shockingly  smoked the substance, erroneously explaining that “ it gives a good feeling.”

Checks revealed that the Shisha or hookah smoking is now very common in Ghana, with a lot of Shishabars dotted in the capital.  What is however threatening is the involvement of children in the sales of this addictive substance.

“For any sale I make, I take my commission and if I am lucky I get tips from some customers too, “the obviously na├»ve pupil said.

Shisha or hookah  is the smoking of tobacco, sometimes mixed with fruit through a bowl and hose or tube. A typical Shisha pipe has a head, body, water bowl, and hose in the bottom of the head that allow smoke to pass into the body's central conduit. Shisha pipes use tobacco sweetened with fruit or molasses sugar, which makes the smoke more aromatic than cigarette smoke.

With this kind of smoking, charcoal is burned in the shisha pipe to heat the tobacco to create the smoke. The smoke passes through the water pipe body, bubbles through the water in the bowl, and is carried through the hose to the smoker to inhale.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in contrast to the wrong notion that it is a safer method of smoking,the volume of smoke inhaled in an hour-long Shisha session is estimated to be the equivalent of smoking between 100 and 200 cigarettes.

A Shisha smoker,  according to a 2005 WHO Study Group report on Tobacco Product Regulation report, inhales as much smoke during one session as a cigarette smoker would inhale consuming 100 or more cigarettes”

Shisha is found to contain nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide and heavy metals, meaning smokers are at risk of the same kinds of diseases caused by cigarette smoking including cancers of the mouth, lung, stomach and oesophagus, reduced lung function and decreased fertility.

The American Centre for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) says there is a high prevalence of hookah use among young persons.

Medical practitioners warn against children smoking,  as addiction rate  is higher than the addiction rates for marijuana, alcohol, or cocaine.

According to Dr.Maxwell Amoof the Holy Trinity Medical Centre in Accra, Shisha and cigarettes don’t have any differences in relation to the effects both have on the smoker.  The effects develops from simple lung infection to lung cancer.

Aside from that, he said other health risk includes the spread of infectious diseases like tuberculosis, herpes, and hepatitis due to the sharing of the same mouthpiece on the Shisha pipe by consumers.

He advised that aside from smoking being a bad habit, it is a high risk danger to human life which affects every part of the human body.

“Chest infections don’t come close to the nicotine effect on the brain which is responsible for the social vices we see in the youth. Smoking is bad and should be avoided, “the Medical Doctor cautioned.

Regarding the sale of cigarettes, even though the Ministry of Heath says the legal minimum age for buying and selling of tobacco is 18 years, the paper witnessed several teenagers busily competing for attention with their adult counterparts.

Interactions with some of them revealed a great knowledge gap on tobacco laws, suggesting the need for  tobacco control authorities to raise  the awareness.

Per estimates from WHO,the  “tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing around 6 million people a year.’’

The sad aspect is that “nearly 80% of the more than 1 billion smokers worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is heaviest.”




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Akuapem-Apirede to promote tourism

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong sarpong007@gmaail.com
The Chiefs and people of Akuapem-Apirede in the Okere Constituency of the Akuapem North Municipality have put in place strategic plans to promote tourist sites in the town.
Apiredehene, Nana Saforo Okoampah III told the Daily Express that their vision is to develop Apirede in a modern way.
“We want to have a modern society and environment. We are doing this on the basis of promoting tourism here,” he added.
According to the Apiredehene, it’s their plan to promote the historic sites and the geographical location of the community.
Apirede is one of the 17 towns that forms the Akuapem State and historically, it used to house the armours of the Akuapem State. The community is part of the Nifa division of Akuapem.
He stated that one of those things was called ‘Odosu’ (the war god for Okuapemhene). “The Chief Executioner in those days for Akuapem also came from Apirede and items that he used were also kept here,” he stated.
“These are a lot of things …

PIAC told to go to court to enforce recommendations

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
sarpong007@gmail.com

The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), the mandated body to monitor the use of Ghana’s oil revenues has been asked to go to court to seek strict compliance of the laws covering accountability of oil funds in the country.

According to Dr. Steve Manteaw, the Campaign Coordinator for ISODEC and a member of the PIAC , it’s time for PIAC as a body to consider going to court to compel institutions responsible for managing Ghana’s oil revenue to answers some questions concerning the expenditure of oil funds.

He pointed out that there are several recommendations made by the PIAC in its past reports on management of petroleum revenues, and a lot of these recommendations has received no positive response from the institutions concerned.

He disclosed this to the Daily Express at a three-day workshop on Interrogating the 2016 Semi Annual PIAC Report at Koforidua in the Eastern Region.

The workshop was organized by the Institute of Financ…

BoG shuts down two financial institutions

The Bank of Ghana has closed down two financial institutions in the country. This was after the central bank investigation revealed that the two companies were operating without approval.

The two companies were Agro Development Fund Services Limited (ADFSL) and Hebron Financial Investment Limited (HFIL).

The Daily Express gathered that the ADFSL was asked to stop operating after the central bank realized the institution had not been licensed to take deposit from the public.

A statement from BoG said the ADFSL continued to operate despite the orders from the Bank of Ghana. It however closed down ADFSL’s operation until further notice.

The Bank of Ghana said that the ADFSL is located at Asufufu, opposite the Sunyani Traditional Council in the Brong Ahafo region.

“The decision to close down ADFSL is in furtherance of section 20(2) (g) of the Banks and Specialized Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930). Bank of Ghana has investigated ADFSL thoroughly and has concluded that its a…