A UN report on the usage of tobacco has it that tobacco use is one of the leading preventable causes of death. The global epidemic kills nearly 6 million people each year of which more than 600,000 are exposed to second-hand smoke.

The report goes on to add that In Ghana, 14.3% of JSS students have tried smoking cigarettes, 19.5% currently use tobacco products and 4.9% currently smoke cigarette.

It is against this backdrop that investigations conducted by Today at the Kokomba market, a suburb of the Agbogbloshie market in Accra revealed that the usage of tobacco is still on the ascendancy.

Public toilet supervisors were the worst culprits, openly selling packs of tobacco together with their money collection duties at the various public toilets in the vicinity.

Users therefore purchase these packs of tobacco and eventually dissipate them at the various washrooms.

This angers many users of these public toilets who lament the health risks this poses on them as secondary smokers.

This hinges on the findings that the global epidemic kills nearly 6 million people each year of which more than 600,000 are exposed to second-hand smoke.

A toilet supervisor, known as ?Forman? who spoke to this paper confirmed engaging in the practise adding that it was a demand from the residents that had to be met.

When asked if he knew about the dangers of the practise, he answered in the affirmative, stressing that though he doesn?t like the smoke there was nothing he could do about it since its sale went a long way to cushion him financially.

Surprisingly, ?forman? again disclosed to this reporter that some women also involve in smoking; mostly prostitutes stressing that they engaged in the act with impunity.

?If you want to see them smoking, come in the evening, that?s the time they come to bath before going for their business at night,? he disclosed.

Some residents bemoaned the situation adding that they feared for their very lives any time they went to the public toilet.

STORY: RAYMOND AWIAGAH, PIJ INTERN

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