The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has explained why Water pipe tobacco popularly referred to as 'shisha' is illegal in Ghana.
The Senior Regulatory Officer at the FDA, Juliana Amankwah-Marfo in an interview with Ghana News Agency, stated that by law FDA has to regulate the usage of shisha and anyone who wants to offer it to the public must come to register.
“By law FDA has to regulate its usage. Operators must come to us to register before offering it to the public but no one has come to us to register.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the water pipe tobacco smoking which is also known as “hookah or narghileh” is a form of tobacco consumption that utilizes a single or multi-stemmed instrument to smoke flavoured or non-flavoured tobacco, where smoke is designed to pass through water or other liquids before reaching the smoker.
Since shisha operators are mostly found in pubs and drinking spots selling to their customers to consume, Mrs Amankwah-Marfo urged the public to report operators of pubs, restaurants, drinking spots among others who offer it to their customers as well as shops that trade in it.
The WHO also stated that shisha smoking is dangerous to the human health as laboratory analyses of the smoke revealed measurable levels of carcinogens and other toxicants which smokers absorb in appreciable amounts.
Other effects of shisha also included elevated heart rate and blood pressure, acute cardiovascular effects, impaired lung function, increased lung inflammation, low birth weight, cancers and male infertility.
She has now pleaded with the youth to stay away from it and any other tobacco product as engaging in it predisposed them to cancer.
she said, “now it is the trend among the youth as they wrongly believe that because the tobacco is flavoured, their health is secured”.
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