Well, before I came to Ghana, I was convinced that I will be able to quit smoking because I thought either there will be no cigarettes or they will be expensive. I therefore enjoyed my last cigarette with two of my friends at the International Airport of Hamburg in Germany before flying to Ghana.
In fact, cigarette became part and parcel of me to the extent that I smoked after my sleep and lunch time daily and did same while driving or drinking coffee. I also enjoyed smoking when chatting with friends. Indeed to me, smoking is sociable and once you get addicted to it, it becomes difficult to stop.
The hope of stopping it in Ghana rather became a mirage as my smoking habit took a different turn altogether. Contrary to my initial expectations, the cost of cigarette in Ghana was cheap and I also found myself among colleague smokers where I lodged. The good news however was that in Ghana it is illegal to smoke in public.
On the other hand, smokers are respected by the majority in my home country. People are allowed to smoke freely, especially at bars and restaurants, where rooms are provided for smokers. Having a chilled bottle of beer with a cigarette in a cozy atmosphere is a wonderful experience. Thatï¿½s why a lot of smokers avoid public localities and prefer to have their beer at home, sitting together with their friends and family.
I believe government can help in the fight against smoking by putting in place measures to ensure that people are deterred from smoking. A few years ago, nobody complained about public smoking despite its health implications
Certainly, I cannot deny that smoking is bad for your health. The contaminants tar and carbon monoxide cause a bad circulation and oxygen supply of the body. The endogenous immune system is relieved. Inflammation of the airwaves, smokerï¿½s cough and chronic bronchitis could be detrimental. Tar itself can cause lung cancer or other cancers. Moreover, smoking strains the cardiovascular system extremely. Heart attack, apoplexy, hypertension and atherosclerosis are possible effects of smoking.
According to German experts, smoking causes 90% of all lung cancers; 65% of all mouth based- cancers and each third cardiac disease. Moreover, there are some negative impacts which are noticeable directly for smokers and non-smokers as well.
Other negative effects of smoking are irritated eyes, dry mouth-and nasal mucosa, bad and old looking skin just as bad teeth and degradation of gustatory sense. What makes smoking more worrying is that it is addictive but passive smoking is more dangerous than smoking itself. I really understand that non-smokers feel bad while together with smokers. Thatï¿½s why I also think they should have the chance to avoid inhaling smoke.
Why write such an article?
Being a visitor in Ghana, it is my responsibility to respect and accept the culture of Ghanaians. But in my candid opinion, smokers also have the right to enjoy some sociability.
It is remarkable that only 1.2% of Ghanaian women smoke consistently whereas almost 50% of German ladies are smokers. This, to me, makes Ghanaian women envious. Unfortunately, I need to say that we are confronted with bad living conditions which are also dangerous to our health. Burning wastes on the streets or driving cars which exhaust much of dangerous fumes mean a danger for our health. It was therefore not a surprise that every Ghanaian I came into contact with wanted me to stop smoking.
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