Erdoğan suggests public pressure on smokers

Erdoğan suggests public pressure on smokers

ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
Erdoğan suggests public pressure on smokers

AA Photo

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has made yet another attempt to fight the smoking habit among Turkish citizens, saying a social landscape to put pressure on people who smoke to quit should be established.

“We must create a social landscape where smokers are condemned. When I see someone smoking, I try my best to take their packets from them. I feel happy when I make someone quit smoking, as if I have helped their rebirth,” Erdoğan said, speaking at a Green Crescent Society (Yeşilay) event in Istanbul on March 4.

The president, who has often spoken out against the evils of smoking, mentioned that until 2008 it was legal to smoke everywhere in Turkey, including airplanes, trains and even sports centers. The government then passed a law banning smoking indoors.

In addition to fighting the smoking habit, Erdoğan also claimed responsibility for fighting against other bad habits, such as drugs and alcohol.

Yeşilay, which is an organization that endeavors to protect society and its youth from “harmful habits,” had caused a debate when it added “prostitution, technology and gambling” to its list of bad habits, in a bid to receive more government funding for its budget. Yeşilay has traditionally restricted its work to the struggle against tobacco, alcohol and drug addiction.