The Vision for Alternative Development, the Ghana Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance, Media Alliance in Tobacco Control and Health, Jaishi Youth Initiative, and the Community Health Support Team has issued a press statement concerning the smoking in public of award-winning Michael Owusu Addo, known in the public domain as Sarkodie.
According to the press statement released by the group, they expressed their disappointment in the two-time BET award winner for continuously posting pictures of him smoking cigar on his social media handles which have huge following. The group have condemned outrightly.
Speaking to the press, the group believes the conduct of Sarkodie has a negative influence on the public,especially his followers because he is a role model to many Ghanaian youths out there.
In addition, the group explained that the whole world is 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, especially and to safeguard the health of both smokers and non-smokers.
Therefore, the act by the ‘Happy Day’ hit maker is described as unprofessional, unethical and unhealthy.
The youth by virtue of their youthful exuberance experiments and follow the paths of individuals they have idolized and such must not be led into deadly pits by these same idols but rather impact in them good morals.
VALD together with other team members is calling on rapperholic Sarkodie to desist from this act of publicly showcasing his smoking skills and the brands in both his pictures and music videos to avoid indirectly ushering innocent youths into the act of thinking smoking is of benefit because their ‘idol’ smokes.
Further, they expect Sarkodie to use his influence and his platforms to educate and instill good morals including healthy living in his followers and the public at large.
Read the press statement below