Turkish smokers to pay for smoke-related diseases
AFP photoThe Turkish state plans to increase the price of each packet of cigarettes by 60 Turkish Kuruş in order to fund programs to prevent cigarette-related diseases.
The Labor and Social Security Ministry is seeking to raise as much as 3 billion liras from the 5 million packets that are sold each year, Aysel Alp of daily Hürriyet reported.
Turkey's Social Security Institution recently conducted a joint study with the World Health Organization (WHO) and determined that the country was spending a total of 2.8 billion liras on cigarette-related diseases such as cancer and coronary and respiratory illnesses.
The ministry, which said the health bill caused by smoking was "unsustainable," has received support from the Health Ministry in its bid to increase the cost of each packet by 60 kuruş.
The final say on the recommendation will belong to the Cabinet.
The Social Security Ministry said similar taxes were levied around the world, noting that five municipalities in the New York area were charging an additional $1.50 on each packet sold.