Secondhand smoke levels unacceptably high in Ghana

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In Ghana, as in most countries in Africa, little is known about the extent of secondhand smoke exposure in public places. A study found that seconhand levels were unacceptably high in public places in Ghana where smoking is allowed, comparable to those measured in American, Asian and European countries without or before smoking bans.

The study measured particulate matter and air nicotine concentrations in hospitality venues and hair nicotine concentrations in non-smoking employees in Ghana.

Implementing a comprehensive smoke-free legislation that protects workers and customers from secondhand smoke exposure in indoor public places is urgently needed in Ghana, according to the study.

1. Agbenyikey W, Wellington E, Gyapong J, et al. Secondhand tobacco smoke exposure in selected public places (PM2.5 and air nicotine) and non-smoking employees (hair nicotine) in Ghana. Tobacco Control 2011; 20: 107-111. (open access)

Teen smoking and socioeconomic disparities in Ghana

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Teenagers of lower socioeconomic status are more likely to take up smoking than their more affluent counterparts, finds a study from Ghana.

Those teens in the study who are expected to end up in adulthood in a lower socioeconomic status than their families (downwardly mobile) are more likely to use tobacco than those teens who are stable in the high socioeconomic status.

Health promotion and tobacco control strategies aimed at reducing teen smoking should pay attention to adolescents of lower socioeconomic statuses and those in danger of dropping out of school, the study concludes.

1. Doku D, Koivusilta L, Raisamo S. Do socioeconomic differences in tobacco use exist also in developing countries? A study of Ghanaian adolescents. BMC Public Health 2010; 10: 758. (open access)