Rate of smokers decline in Turkey, ministry says

Rate of smokers decline in Turkey, ministry says

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Rate of smokers decline in Turkey, ministry says

The number of cigarettes consumed in Turkey was 107 billion in 2008 and it has dropped under 100 billion in the last two years. according toHealth Ministry’s data.

On “World No Tobacco Day” the Turkish Ministry of Health announced that some 2.2 million people in Turkey had quit smoking since 2008, and that the number of those subjected to smoke in closed areas had dropped by 60 percent.

The Ministry of Health said Turkey was among the top four countries in the world in the fight against smoking, quoting World Health Organization.

Other countries in the list are reported as Hungary, Sweden and England “The number of smokers is 1.2 billion in the world and in Turkey is 16 million,” the Ministry’s statement read.

“As a result of the campaigns against smoking, the rate of smoking has dropped from 33.4 percent to 27.1 percent in the last six years.”

Although Turkey started legal means to fight against smoking in 1996, a smoking ban took full effect in 2009 in Turkey, and outlawed smoking in all enclosed public places, including bars, cafes, restaurants, taxis, trains and outdoor stadiums. The ban included premises that serve nargile, or hookah, and excluded private residences.

Smoking ban
The ministry’s report said some 2.9 million businesses had been inspected after the ban took effect and that those who did not apply the ban had been fined a total of 24 million Turkish Liras.

The volume of cigarette sales in Turkey has also seen a significant decline in recent years, according to figures provided by the Tobacco and Alcohol Market Regulatory Agency (TAPDK).

Accordingly, the number of cigarettes smoked in Turkey has dropped to under 100 billion in the last two years.

While in 2008 the number of cigarettes consumed was 107 billion, that number decreased to 91 billion last year, the figures show.

The ministry also reported that some 3.4 million people had called Turkey’s “ALO 171,” a call center that aims to help people quit smoking.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan himself is also a devout fighter against smoking.

“This is a reality. Consequently, the fight against tobacco has gained as much importance as the fight against terrorism,” Erdoğan said at a meeting marking the second anniversary of the legislation banning smoking in public places.

Tobacco ban in Dubai for a day

DUBAI- Agence France Presse

Nearly 300 stores in the Gulf emirate of Dubai will ban the sale of cigarettes for 24 hours on Thursday to mark the World No Tobacco Day, local media reported.“In Dubai, nearly 300 outlets including petrol stations and supermarkets will stop selling tobacco for 24 hours,” reported English daily, The National.

“One in four deaths is linked to smoking-related diseases” in the United Arab Emirates, another local daily, Gulf News, quoted a hospital official as saying.

The sale of cigarettes in Dubai is prohibited to anyone below 20 years of age and public smoking is banned in the emirate.