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Northern Region leads in cigarette smoking

2009-06-08 23:34:59
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The 2005 Global Youth Tobacco Survey conducted among Junior High School (JHS) students has revealed that the Northern Region has the highest prevalence of students who smoke. The survey showed that 25.6 of JHS students in the region ever smoked cigarettes while one in every four students is currently using some form of tobacco.

Dr. Patrick Twumasi, Northern Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS),said this at the launch of "World No Tobacco Day" in Tamale on Monday.

He said the survey also indicated that 11 per cent of students currently smoked cigarettes while 23 per cent of them lived in homes where others smoked.

Dr. Twumasi said the 2003 Ghana Health Demographic Survey report also showed that the three northern regions had the highest percentage of men who are cigarette smokers. The Northern Region, he said, led with 17.7 per cent, followed by the Upper West and Upper East Regions with 15.3 and 11.4 per cent respectively.

The Regional Health Director expressed dismay about the increasing rate of smokers in the three regions, which he said had been described as among the poorest in the country. He said: "Instead of those of us regarded as poor spending our money to improve our lot, we are rather using it to buy diseases". Dr Twumasi said tobacco use was harmful regardless of the form, whether in smoking or sniffing, and urged the people to desist from the practice.

He urged Ghanaians to consider the serious impact of tobacco on their health as well as on their economic and social lives. He therefore called for bold and legible pictorial warning on every tobacco products in the country to discourage non-smokers from smoking.


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