Turkey's PM renews govt's determination to fight smoking

Erdogan expressed determination to continue his government's war against smoking.

Turkey's PM renews govt's determination to fight smoking

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed determination to continue his government's war against smoking, saying country's expanded smoking ban had been supported by a great majority of Turkish people.

At a meeting of Yesilay, a Turkish organization devoted to reduce alcohol and cigarette consumption, Erdogan said that 99 percent of Turkish people had respected the smoking ban in Turkey.

In July 2009, a law made it illegal to light up in all enclosed areas including bars, cafes and restaurants in Turkey.

Erdogan said that nearly 17 million Turkish people, around 25 percent of the population, were smokers. However, he said the law was supported by 95 percent of the people.

Erdogan also said that consumption of tobacco products declined after the ban took effect.

"Cigarette sales have been coming down since July 2009. During the period between July and November, Turkey has seen its lowest cigarette consumption over the past five years," he said.

"Sales have dropped by 10 percent during this period when compared to the same period of 2007. Turkish people have spent 1.1 billion TL less for cigarettes."

Restaurant owners have been complaining about the ban and they had demands from the government to soften it.

But Erdogan was resolute to continue the ban. He said some people complained to him that their shops were on the brink of crash.

"I can not accept such things. If so many shops had been closed, more than those have started," he said.


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Last Mod: 04 Şubat 2010, 16:36
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