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Smoking 'shisha' is illegal in Ghana - FDA

Shisha, referred to as water pipe, a tobacco smoking device that employs an indirect heat source to slowly burn tobacco leaves while users draw the smoke through a hose attached to a water chamber is illegal in the country, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has said.

Shisha smoke

According to a Senior Regulatory Officer at the FDA, Juliana Amankwah-Marfo, "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."

The World Health Organisation (WHO), in a recent advisory note to regulators, revealed that smoking shisha posed grave health risks.

It added that a common belief is that the risks of tobacco are reduced since it is purified as it passes though the water.

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Juliana Amankwah-Marfo in an interview with the GNA said officials of the FDA had seized a number of the waterpipes in some big malls and supermarkets with administrative sanctions handed over to them.

She added that FDA visited pubs and other places unannounced to check the use of such illicit drugs and seized their equipment and subsequently issued sanctions adding that those who refused to adhere to the sanctions were put before the courts.

She, therefore, appealed to the general public to help the FDA to clamp down on activities of operators and smokers of illicit drugs especially shisha by reporting them to the Authority.

She pleaded with the youth to stay away from it and any other tobacco product as engaging in it predisposed them to cancer regretting that "“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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