Turks smoking less, survey shows
This file photo from 2009 shows a group of people marching for a ‘Smoke Free Air Zone’ in the southeastern province of Batman. A recent survey shows tobacco addiction has dropped remarkably in the last five years in Turkey. DHA photoA recent survey by the Health Ministry’s Tobacco and Other Addictive Substances Control Department has revealed that tobacco use in Turkey dropped to 27.1 percent in 2012 from 31.2 percent in 2008.
The survey, conducted as part of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), also revealed that tobacco use among males fell to 41.5 percent from 47.9 percent, and to 13.1 percent from 15.2 percent among females.
The first survey was held in 2008, when a number of smoking restrictions, including a ban on smoking indoors in public areas, were implemented for the first time.
Smokers spent an average of 146 Turkish Liras on manufactured cigarettes per month in 2012, according to the study. Male smokers spent an average 157.6 liras per month, while women spent an average of 110 liras.
Smokers aged 45-64 spent the most on cigarettes per month on average at 158 liras, while 15-24-year-old smokers spent an average of 128 liras and 25-44-year-olds spent an average of 148 liras.
“The findings presented in this report provide a good opportunity to reflect on Turkey’s success and praise its government and people for serving as a shining example in implementing the key pillars of the WHO European policy framework for health and well–being,” said Zsuzsanna Jakab, the WHO's regional director for Europe, is quoted as saying in a document accompanying the study.
Male smokers consumed an average of 20.3 cigarettes per day, while women smoked an average of 15.3 percent.
Among daily smokers, 6.8 percent reported that they smoked five cigarettes or less a day.
Some 42 percent of daily smokers aged 15 years and older said they smoked within 30 minutes of waking up in the morning, while 26.2 percent said they smoked their first cigarette 31-60 minutes after waking up, and 31.8 percent first smoked over one hour after waking.
Some 16.1 percent of respondents said they started smoking daily before the age of 15; while 42.6 percent got hooked at the age of between 15 and 17; 19.5 percent began smoking regularly between the ages of 18 and 19; and 21.8 percent began at 20 years or older. More than half of daily smokers surveyed (58.7 percent) in the 18–34 age group started smoking on a daily basis as a minor.
Every year at least 100,000 people die in Turkey due to smoking-related diseases, Seçil Özkan, who heads the state Public Health Institution, is quoted as saying in the report.