World Bulletin / News Desk
The number of people who die daily from tobacco-related diseases in Turkey is 300 on average, said Leyla Sağlam, a professor at Atatürk University Medical School's department of chest disease.
She said that tobacco-related deaths were higher in number in undeveloped countries than in developed countries, calling cigarettes "an unknown killer" because so many people are unaware of the fatality rate. Sağlam said the number of deaths caused by cigarette addiction on a monthly basis in Turkey is about 12,000, "This is equal to 300 people dying in a day, equal to one plane crashing every day with no survivors, or five passenger buses falling off a cliff with no survivors." However, she noted that the country is not aware of the toll tobacco-related deaths have on society. "When five people die in a traffic accident, we, as a nation, watch this on the news and mourn the loss, but unfortunately we do not care much about cigarette-related deaths."
She also noted that although measures have been taken in the developed world against tobacco addiction, the problem persists in underdeveloped or low-income nations. "Years ago, underdeveloped nations grew tobacco and sold it to developed nations. Now this has been reversed. Tobacco production is decreasing in underdeveloped countries but consumption is increasing."
Sağlam said cigarettes are the biggest risk to public health the world has ever seen, saying that around the world a person dies approximately every six seconds due to an illness caused by smoking. "It kills half of its consumers at an early age. Ten percent of the 6 million deaths annually around the globe are of those people who we define as passive smokers, and 5 percent are children, who are completely free of guilt and innocent."
She also said that 80 percent of the world's smokers live in low and medium-income countries. The professor also noted that the tobacco industries of underdeveloped countries often use child labor. "We see a disorder which we call green tobacco sickness in children who have contact with humid tobacco leaves working as cheap labor."
She also noted that the percentage of smokers in Turkey has risen since the country started allowing imports of tobacco products in the late 1980s. "This further increased after foreign companies opened their tobacco factories here." However, she said that stricter laws against cigarette production over the past few years have lowered the number of smokers again.Last Mod: 13 Şubat 2013, 17:59