Tobacco and COVID-19
Ghana joins the rest of the world to observe World Tobacco Day, a day set aside to sensitize tobacco users of the dangers it poses especially in this COVID-19 era.
This year’s World’s Tobacco Day is on the theme “Commit to quit”,
The use of tobacco in the COVID-19 era can be very detrimental to one’s health due to the effects smoking or using tobacco has on the respiratory system.
The immune system is adversely affected by the usage of tobacco which eventually diminishes the functions of the lungs and exposes its users to respiratory infections and likely COVID-19 since it’s also an infectious disease that targets the lungs.
In Ghana, tobacco is commonly consumed in the form of cigarettes and cigars even though the various brands indicate boldly on packages the dangers of tobacco usage, its users continue to patronize these products.
Ghana News Agency (GNA) took to the streets of Accra to enquire about Ghanaians views on the use of tobacco and its effect.
Madam Grace Opoku, a tobacco wholesale vendor at Accra Central told GNA that she is not oblivious of the effect her trade has on people but that’s her business and her only means of fending for her family.
She said she has been in the business for a decade and patronage was still good.
“I like the fact that the producers have improved their packaging by indicating the effects of smoking’’, she added.
Johnson Mireku a pub owner said that he is disgusted by the smell of tobacco and some customers also dislike it as well, hence even though he sells it, customers would have to use it outdoor.
Ben Gaza, a second-hand dealer said he used to be an addict until his friend perished at the mercy of tobacco. He said at the advanced stage of his addiction, he was unable to eat and all he wanted was more cigarette sticks, a pack a day was not enough, I could take about two packs, I lost my appetite and became so skinny.
“Since it is not illegal and its users owe it to themselves and their health, it’s only right that tobacco users are made aware of the repercussions of their actions’’
He also told GNA that if the health sector could organize rehab programs that would aid tobacco users to quit, it will help reduce tobacco usage and abuse.
Life is full of choices and people have their rights as well, but some choices can endanger one’s health and expose individuals to a lot of problems, so it’s advisable to stay away from lifestyles or habits that will hinder good health and rather inculcate good lifestyles like regular exercise, eating healthy and drinking enough water.
By Fusena Bashiru