Teachers Must Stop Smoking in Schools

by Jenny Novac on June 29, 2011

Tamale — The Northern Regional Deputy Director of Public Health Services, Dr. Jacob Mahama, has cautioned headmasters and teachers against the habit of smoking on school compounds, or sending school children to buy them cigarettes during school hours.

Non smoking girl

According to Dr. Mahama, about 99.9% of school children regard their headmasters and teachers as role models or mentors in society and, therefore, see whatever behaviour those leaders put up as the best of behaviours, and then try at most times to exemplify them as they grow.

The Public Health Expert, who was addressing some journalists in Tamale, as part of the Northern Regional Ghana Health Service’s quarterly media sensitisation programme, hinted that smoking among children of school-going age had assumed alarming proportions, especially in the three Northern regions.

According to the health official, large quantities of tobacco were being cultivated in most of the communities in the region, with an estimated 17.7% of the population up north, seriously involved in tobacco consumption or cigarette smoking, which is the highest in Ghana.

Teacher stops smoking

Advocating for the government to quickly pass the Anti Tobacco Bill into Law, Dr. Mahama observed that the Bill, when passed, would ban public smoking, which has serious health effects on non-smokers, restrain children from handling any tobacco related product, and its cultivation.

Dr. Mahama, who described tobacco as a dangerous substance, said it contained nicotine, ammonia, acetone, arsenic, benzene, cadmium, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide and methanol chemical substances.

Owners and directors of hotels, restaurants and chop bars, he said, should also protect the health of non-smokers by setting aside special places for smoking for their customers.

Dr. Jacob Mahama also advised parents who smoke in the presence of their children to put a stop to it, adding that they should also stop asking children to light cigarettes for them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *