Alhaji Hafiz Adams (4th from left), Chief Director, Ministry of Health, with some of the guests after the programme
Alhaji Hafiz Adams (4th from left), Chief Director, Ministry of Health, with some of the guests after the programme

World No Tobacco Day: 6,700 Citizens die from tobacco-related diseases annually — Research

A study by Tobacco Atlas, a research journal, has revealed that more than 6,700 citizens die annually from tobacco-related diseases.


According to the study, 66 per cent of the deaths are individuals under the age of 70, while 18 per cent are those exposed to second-hand smoke.

This was disclosed by the Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, Alhaji Hafiz Adam, at a public education session for some selected students within the Ayawaso East Municipality in the Greater Accra Region in commemoration of this year’s World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) in Accra yesterday on the theme: “We need food, not Tobacco”. 

They were sensitised to the harmful effects of tobacco use, including its impact on various organs, the addictive nature of nicotine and its long-term health implications.

There was also a quiz exercise that focused on facts about tobacco, the benefits of healthy diets and the risks associated with tobacco use to help the youth make healthier choices of prioritising their well-being over tobacco consumption.

The event, which is celebrated globally on May 31, was organised by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Vision for Alternative Development (VALD) and other CSOs.


Alhaji Adam said that the celebration was a constant reminder of the dangers of tobacco use and the need to develop suitable strategies and an enabling environment for tobacco growing farmers to shift their focus to food crops.

He mentioned some of the measures by the government to discourage tobacco use to include the elimination of illicit trade in tobacco products, a recently launched framework convention on tobacco control (FCTC) 2023 project, among others.

The year-long nationwide celebration will involve media campaigns, public education in secondary schools and community sensitisation programmes.

He said the activities were part of effort by the government to mobilise policymakers to support the implementation of tobacco control laws.

“This campaign also calls for civil society, academia, the media and individual support to develop suitable strategies to ensure a tobacco-free society”, Mr Adam added. 

Smoke-free society

A student, Emily Williams, said: “Tobacco, despite all the warnings and knowledge available to us, continues to claim countless lives, snuff out dreams and cast a dark shadow over our world.”

She said that the public had the power to break the chain of addiction and inspire others to live a life free from the shackles of tobacco use.

“Awareness alone is not enough; we must take action and challenge the societal norms that perpetuate smoking as glamorous or rebellious”, she added.


Tobacco is known to cause premature deaths and preventable diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, stroke and hypertension, among others.

Cultivation of tobacco also contributes to deforestation and soil degradation which disrupts the fertility of land, causing long-term negative effects on the environment, leading to climate change.

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