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Ban on public smoking in force
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The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), on Friday reminded the public that the ban on public smoking is still in force.

Mr Richard Kyeremeh Yeboah, Regulatory Officer at the Brong-Ahafo Regional Office of the FDA who gave the reminder said culprits would be prosecuted.

He was addressing the staff and students of the Nsawkaw State Senior High School at a forum to mark the 2013 World Tobacco Day at Nsawkaw in the Tain District of the Region.

It was organised by the Brong-Ahafo Network of non-governmental organisations (BANGO) and sponsored by Star Ghana funded by UKAID, USAID, EU and DANIDA.

The World Tobacco Day was instituted by the World Health Organisation observed in May 31, every year to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

Mr Yeboah noted that toxic ingredients in cigarettes travel throughout the body, causing damage in several ways.

He said tobacco contains 4,700 chemicals, 50 human cancer causing agents and 200 poisons, a major cause of heart failure.

Mr Yeboah emphasised that despite massive public education carried on the effects of smoking, people continued with such dangerous habit indicating that very soon the FDA would collaborate with security agencies to arrest people who smoke in public.

“No person has the right to smoke in public place,” he said and advised the public to stand against those who did so especially in market areas, recreational centres and public toilets.

Mr Raphael Godlove Ahenu, Secretary of BANGO called for an effective legislation to control smoking in the movie industry.

He said smoking in movies and tobacco promotion play a role in the initiation of smoking among the youth.

Mr Ahenu disclosed that global tobacco epidemic killed nearly six million people each year, of which 600,000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke.

“Unless we act, the epidemic will kill more than eight million people every year by 2030,” he said.

Mr Ahenu said more than 80 per cent of those preventable deaths would be among people living in low and middle income countries.

Meanwhile, Mission of Hope, an NGO in collaboration with Basic Needs Ghana are implementing a programme aimed at supporting people with all forms of mental disorders and epilepsy in the Tain District.

Mr Thomas Benarkuu, Project Officer of the NGO told the Ghana News Agency that under the programme patients are being provided with free medication.

He expressed concern that because of the lack of a psychiatric nurse at the district hospital, treatment on patients was delaying as the NGO had to bring psychiatric nurse from the Regional Hospital in Sunyani to provide the medication.

Mr Benarkuu said aside the medication; the NGO had established a self help group made up of 24 mentally challenge patients and empowering them in all areas of their social life.

Source: GNA

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