- A high ranking FDA official has said that shisha smoke as harmful as cigarette smoke
- Says a hour session of shisha smoking is like smoking 200 cigarettes
Mrs. Olivia Boateng, Head of the Ghana Food and Drugs Authority's Tobacco and Substance Abuse Unit, has debunked a common perception among youths that shisha smoke isn't as harm as cigarette smoke.
Mrs. Boateng related that the a lot of Ghanaian youths are of the opinion that since shisha smoke is flavored and goes through water before the smoker inhales the fumes, it is - in their opinions - safer than normal cigarette smoke.
dispelling the common notion that shisha smoke is "healthier", Mrs. Boateng pointed out that nicotine and carcinogens present in cigarette smoke is still present in shisha smoke by the time it is inhaled by the smoker and, therefore, shisha smoke is just as harmful as cigarette smoke.
Speaking at the Graphic Youth World, Mr. Boateng stated that the regular shisha smokers ought to expect the same health risk as those who smoke normal cigarettes, health risks which include cardiovascular, respiratory, oral cavity, and dental diseases.
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Drawing a pertinent comparison, Mrs. Boateng revealed that one who smokes shisha for an hour, has smoke the equivalent of 200 sticks of cigarette. This, coupled with the fact that lab tests reveal that the burning charcoal used in shishas generate substantial amounts of carbon monoxide (CO), which is harmful to human health.
“These toxic substances result in addiction, heart and lung diseases and cancer in cigarette smokers, as well as in shisha users,” she said.
In a new development, Mr. Boateng stated that government would now compel tobacco importers and manufacturers to place photographic health warnings on their products that should cover 50 percent of the front, and 60 percent of the back. This follows research that suggest that pictorial warnings are much more effective when it comes to sensitizing smokers of the dangers of smoking.
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