Turkey - tobacco control efforts must move forward..

November 9, 2010 - A survey focusing on attitudes regarding Turkey’s smoking ban has revealed that Turks generally support the rights of smokers to be able to choose to smoke in designated areas. The survey also shows the ban has had a significant impact on cafe and teahouse operators, some of whom have seen a 90 percent drop in trade since the ban came into effect.

On July 19, 2009 the Turkish Government - made a major move to improve the health of its citizens..

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamic-rooted government is keen to reduce smoking rates and the effects of second-hand smoke on people's health. He insists the battle against cigarette usage is as crucial as the "struggle against terrorism." Prime Minister Erdogan is now the driving force behind the next phase of a popular ban taking effect on July 19, which aims to curb the habit in his country where 22 million people, including around half the adult male population, smoke.

Turkey's largest city of Istanbul reported a 20 percent drop in patients checking into emergency rooms for cigarette-related illness thanks to the one-year smoking ban. The results of the study was announced by the Istanbul Health Department and Marmara University Medical School.

The study said that the number of patients checking into emergency rooms for smoking related health complications has decreased in the year after the smoking ban. Istanbul Health Director Ali Ihsan Dokucu said that compared to the same period of last year, the first five months of 2010 had 20 percent less patients checking into emergency rooms for cigarette- related illnesses.

Meanwhile, the reduction in smoking has caused a savings of 2.9 million Turkish Lira (about 1.9 million U.S. dollars) in medicine costs. Dokucu said "this situation is concrete proof of the success of the smoking ban."

President of the Cigarettes and Health National Committee Elif Bagli said that compared to the first five months of 2009, 363 million less packs of cigarettes were sold in 2010, resulting in a saving of 1.8 billion liras. She added that there was also 30 percent reduction in heart attacks, saying "this ban has not only benefited us health-wise, but also generated financial gain."

Turkey - smoking ban a year later, goals are being achieved..; Turkey - even in tea houses smoking ban is working..

The survey was conducted by Ipsos KMG, an independent research company, on Friday and polled the attitudes of some 1,500 people above the age of 18 in 12 cities. The survey pool included both smokers and nonsmokers and is believed to accurately represent the Turkish population.

The results of the survey reveal that seven out of 10 people consider smoking in public spaces a right in any circumstance where the dangers of passive smoking do not exist. Some 79 percent of smokers agree with the idea that smoking should be allowed in public spaces, while 64 percent of non-smokers also support the idea.

Reference: Survey reveals doubts over Turkey's smoking ban, Hürriyet Daily News, 11/5/2010.

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