Turkey to issue smoking ban for outdoors

Turkey to issue smoking ban for outdoors

Turkey to issue smoking ban for outdoors

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Turkey will extend a smoking ban previously issued for indoor areas to outdoors, the Turkish health minister has announced, as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wages a large-scale war against the habit.

Turkish Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu announced that a new outdoors smoking ban, which aims to extend restrictions on smoking areas, would be issued, amid repeated opprobrium toward the habit from Erdoğan.

Under the law, smoking outside shopping malls, in the gardens of sanctuaries and in outdoor walking areas and playgrounds will all be prohibited amid other new regulations for indoor areas, daily Sabah quoted Müezzinoğlu as saying. 

The outdoors smoking ban will reportedly come into effect this year.

Erdoğan, meanwhile, hosted over 250 people who quit smoking at a reception at the Presidential Palace on Feb. 9, which is also “Quit Smoking” day. Speaking during the reception, Erdoğan said: “Fighting against smoking is a personal principal of mine. There cannot be such a thing as ‘freedom to smoke.’ Just as there cannot be a thing such as freedom to commit suicide and freedom of exposure to terminal illness, there cannot be freedom of habits that lead to these outcomes.”

Erdoğan added that as part of the Health Ministry’s campaign against smoking, over 141,000 people were supported with free treatment to quit smoking and over 23.5 million people who called “quit smoking” hotlines were treated.  

“The important thing is to protect the freedom of non-smokers, not the smokers, because non-smokers are faced with a threat against their will. The state is responsible for protecting its citizens from tobacco, alcohol and drugs, just like it is responsible for protecting landlords from thieves and innocent citizens from terrorists,” Erdoğan said.