A number of civil society organisations (CSOs) have condemned the cigar-smoking pictures of popular musician known in showbiz circles as Sarkodie.
Civil Society Organizations in Tobacco Control in Ghana have condemned the public display of smoking on social media by Mr. Michael Owusu Addo known in ShowBiz circles as Sarkodie.
The CSO’s have described the act by the two-time BET Award winner as unprofessional, unethical and unhealthy. They also expressed disappointment in Sarkodie for not considering the negative influence this singular act stands to have on the public especially the youth, most of who consider him as their role model.
The CSOs include Vision for Alternative Development (VALD); Ghana Non Communicable Disease Alliance (Ghana NCDA); Media Alliance in Tobacco Control and Health (MATCOH); Jai Shie initiative, and the Community Health Support Team (CHEST).
In a statement signed by the Programs Director of Vision for Alternative Development (VALD), Labram Musah, he explained that, the whole world is currently at a stage where countries including Ghana are finding effective and lasting solutions to curb the rate at which tobacco products are exposed and used by minors and to safeguard the health of both smokers and non-smokers.
The statement also noted that young people, by virtue of their youthful exuberance and experimentations follow the paths of individuals they have idolized, as such they must not be led into deadly pits by these same idols, rather they must impact good morals in them.
The statement further noted that, tobacco use is one of the leading preventable causes of deaths in the world with most deaths occurring in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs) including Ghana and that it is estimated that annually about 8million lives are lost to tobacco use, while 600,000 people are also killed by exposure to tobacco smoke worldwide.
“Tobacco is lethal and deadly and has no single benefit except to kill, maim and destroy and the use of tobacco products causes chronic Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which include emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Smoking also increases the risk for tuberculosis.