The Health Ministry has called on users of tobacco and its products to take a decisive commitment to quit using the substance.

The sector Minister, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu in statement to commemorate the No Tabacco Day stated that in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic tobacco users should “commit to quit” as the theme for 2021 states.

According to him, “in Ghana over 807,600 people smoke cigarettes, shisha arid other tobacco products, with about 75 deaths (mainly men) recorded every week from smoking related illnesses making this a serious public health threat.”

Mr Agyemang-Manu expressed worry about the available statistics insisting that although quitting smoking is difficult it comes with enormous benefits.

'Commit to quit' - Health Ministry urges tobacco users as it commemorates World No Tobacco Day

Highlighting the dangers of using tobacco, the Minister stated that the nation continues to advocate for strong tobacco termination policies.

“Despite the fact that quitting smoking can be challenging, studies have demonstrated significant benefits. For instance, after just 20 minutes of quitting smoking, elevated heart rate of smokers’ drops, within 12 hours, carbon monoxide levels in the blood equally adjust to normal.

“There has also been evidence of improvement in blood circulation and lung function within 12 weeks. In addition, major complications of smoking including risks of stroke and lung cancer decrease to that of a non-smoker,” he stated.

He further pledged that the support of his outfit together with the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to see a significant reduction in the use of tobacco in Ghana.

“People who want to quit smoking can access help in the various health facilities across the country. To this end, the Ministry of Health and all its partners pledge support to all tobacco users as they commit to quit smoking,” he stated.