The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) on Friday embarked on a sensitisation campaign at Kasoa to educate the public on tobacco abuse.
It forms part of activities to mark this year’s ‘World No Tobacco Day’, celebrated globally, to draw attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and attendant health challenges, which currently causes more than seven million deaths each year worldwide.
A float was organised as part of the celebration, held on the theme, ‘Tobacco and Lung Health’, to drum home the health threat tobacco poses to the lung.
Madam Olivia Agyekumwaa Boateng, the Head of Tobacco and Substance Abuse, said the FDA needed to sensitise and increase awareness on the dangers associated with the use of tobacco.
According to her, tobacco contained more than 7000 chemicals, which were harmful to the human health hence, the need to caution the people.
Madam Boateng said, “It affects every part of the body and a predisposing factor to all lung diseases such as lung cancers and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among others”.
She noted that the Public Health Act (PHA) 2012, Act 851, Part 6 provides comprehensive smoke-free policies which made tobacco and tobacco products legal in the country.
In view of this, Madam Boateng stated that the law had mandated the FDA to embark on extensive public education against the use of tobacco and its product.
Madam Boateng identified Pictorial Health Warnings (PHW) as a preventive measure to reduce tobacco use.
“Now you can see on our tobacco products, packages of diseased lungs, diseased hearts, passive smokers and a pregnant woman because it affects the unborn child when the mother smokes,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, in a statement said the country had made significant progress to reduce tobacco use by effectively enforcing the complementary smoke-free policies through the implementation of the PHA 2012 (Act 851).
He added that the country was committed to use of smoke free provisions to reduce social acceptability of tobacco use, promote cessation, help users to quit the habit and regain their health.
BY ABEDUWAA LUCY APPIAH