The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) says it will consider proposing to parliament to place an outright ban on the sale and smoking of shisha and electronic cigarette.
Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the FDA, Mr. James Lartey in an interview with Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm said the regulatory body has not approved the sale of shisha in the country.
Mr. Lartey noted that it was important to ban the smoking of shisha as the trend was becoming alarming.
He explained that the FDA does not have the regulation right now to control the smoking of shisha and electronic cigarette but considering a proposal to parliament to initiate steps to have it banned.
Commonly used by the youth, it has been revealed shisha smoking is 5.3% higher than traditional tobacco use such as cigarette which is 2.8%.
Mr. Lartey said the FDA has also initiated steps to educate the youth in schools, churches. Mosques and other areas on the dangers associated with shisha.
According to health report, in a 60-minute Shisha session, smokers are exposed to 100 to 200 times the volume of smoke inhaled from a single cigarette.
Shisha smoking – also called hookah, narghile, waterpipe, or hubble bubble smoking – is a way of smoking tobacco, sometimes mixed with fruit or molasses sugar, through a bowl and hose or tube.
The average shisha-smoking session lasts an hour and research has shown that in this time you can inhale the same amount of smoke as from more than 100 cigarettes.
It consists of a head or tobacco bowl in which tobacco is placed, a body, a water bowl, a hose and a mouthpiece.
Operators of most pubs and drinking spots in the urban areas make the waterpipes available to their customers who openly inhale the flavoured tobacco smoke emanating from it.
This Mr. Lartey said was illegal and revealed that the FDA had seized a number of the waterpipes in some big malls and supermarkets with administrative sanctions handed over to them.
He admonished 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 erroneous perception that drawing tobacco smoke through water made it less harmful than cigarette smoking.
The WHO stated that shisha smoking was dangerous to 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 waterpipe smoking included elevated heart rate and blood pressure, acute cardiovascular effects, impaired lung function, increased lung inflammation, low birth weight, cancers and male infertility.