FDA suggests institutions incorporate anti-smoking education into programme activities

The Eastern Regional Office of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) is encouraging institutions to incorporate anti-smoking education into their programme activities to help increase awareness about smoking risks and promote healthier lifestyles.

The authority believes that by integrating anti-smoking education, institutions can play a vital role in preventing the harmful effects of smoking and reducing tobacco-related diseases among the population.

Research suggests that people who start smoking tobacco in their teens and continue for two decades or more will die 20 to 25 years earlier than those who never light up.

Given this, the FDA organised a programme called “Post World No Tobacco Day” following the Public Health Act, 2012 (Act 851), Part 6, Section 66.

The Authority celebrated Post-World No Tobacco Day with students of the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) College of Education at Asokore in the region.

Madam Anita Owusu-Kuffour, the Eastern Regional Head of FDA, said it was important for institutions to include anti-smoking education in their programmes regularly, as stated in the Public Health Act, 2012, (851) Part 6, Section 66.

Despite the observance of World No Tobacco Day on May 31, 2023, the education should include the effects and health dangers of smoking or sniffing tobacco, chewing or inhaling tobacco, and any other form of use of such a product.

Tobacco is a plant cultivated for its leaves, which undergo a process of drying and fermentation before being used in tobacco products. These products contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance.

According to Madam Owusu-Kuffour, the programme was organised in collaboration with the teacher trainees, as they play a crucial role in disseminating information to a large audience, especially students at the Basic and Senior High Schools.

Mr. Eric Osei-Sarpong, Eastern Regional Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, said Shisha, a new trend in tobacco products, was believed to have the same impact as smoking a large number of cigarettes during an hour-long session.

He said the public needed to understand that Shisha is not as harmful as cigarettes due to the flavour of the tobacco and the water filtration process.

In a presentation, Madam Juliet Adjeiwaa, the Eastern Regional Regulatory Officer at FDA, discussed the issue of substance or drug abuse with the participants, explaining that it referred to the use of illegal drugs for non-medicinal purposes or the misuse of prescription and over-the-Counter (OTC) drugs for unapproved purposes, which can have an impact on the nervous system, behaviour, and emotions.

She mentioned various drugs that included cocaine, heroin, cannabis, codeine, and tramadol, adding that the consequences of drug abuse included mental health disorders, academic difficulties, frequent weakness, and exhaustion.

According to her, it is important to consult a doctor before taking any medication, stay away from negative influences, and seek assistance from professionals for drug abuse prevention.

Officials from the Ghana Prisons Service, the Ghana Police Service, and the traditional council were among the key stakeholders present at the Post-World No Tobacco Day event.

Source: GNA

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