The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has issued a red flag on the escalating manner in which the youth in the country are engaged in smoking shisha, stating that smoking shisha is more harmful and deadly than cigarettes
Even though the service agrees that cigarette is equally harmful, it asserts that shisha which has become a fashionable way of lifestyle for young people who smoke it unceasingly and uncontrollably poses tremendous health risks far more than the smoking of cigarettes.
Programmes Manager in charge of non-communicable diseases at the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Dennis Laryea said that the alarming rate at which shisha smoking joints are spreading across the country gives cause for concern.
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According to him, research conducted on shisha use has clearly shown that it has particularly serious health consequences on two vital organs of the body, the lungs and the heart, adding that some of the health hazards relating to shisha smoking include lung cancer, cancers of the food pipe, emphysema, low birth weight, asthma attacks and pneumonia among others
‘’According to evidence-based research, shisha smokes contain, similar amounts of nicotine as cigarettes, 36 times the amount of tar than cigarettes and greater concentration of heavy metals than cigarettes, ’’ Dr. Laryea said.
In his estimation, it is prudent that steps are taken to halt this creeping habit among the youth in order to save their future.
Dr. Laryea particularly wants the government to come up with laws that will criminalize shisha smoking and that existing law that makes smoking in public places illegal be enforced
The best way to begin he explained is to close down all the sprawling shisha joints in the country and clamp down on promoters of its use.