About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Turkey All Set to Enforce Strict Smoking Ban

by VR Sreeraman on July 18, 2009 at 4:51 PM
Font : A-A+

 Turkey All Set to Enforce Strict Smoking Ban

Turkey will on Sunday introduce a tight ban on smoking in cafes, restaurants and bars, wielding fines for offenders, in a bid to break a national habit blamed for tens of thousands of deaths each year.

The ban is an extension of existing legislation introduced by the Islamist-rooted government, which prohibited smoking in workplaces and public spaces in May last year while giving cafes and restaurants 18 months to adjust.

Advertisement

Now that the transition period expires on July 19, the owners of these establishments have to clear up ashtrays, put up signs against smoking and refuse to serve clients who insist on lighting up.

Although the legislation allows smoking in the courtyards of these premises, the site in question should not be covered with even a sunshade or awning in order to qualify as an open space.
Advertisement

Non-compliance with the ban will result in a fine of 69 liras (45 dollars, 32 euros) for smokers while the establishment itself will have to pay 560 liras for a first-time offence and up to 5,600 liras for repeat offences.

"Our primary objective is to reduce the proportion of smokers to 20 percent of the adult population," said Toker Erguder, who runs the World Health Organization's tobacco-control project in Turkey.

Official statistics say almost one in three adults smoke in Turkey -- a rate that reaches 48 percent among men -- putting the country in 10th place in tobacco consumption in the world.

Smoking-related illnesses are responsible for nearly 100,000 deaths a year, according to the Turkish Temperance Society.

Owners of bars and cafes have long been appealing for a delay in the introduction of the ban, especially in the midst of an economic crisis, but the health ministry has refused to budge and drafted in some 5,000 inspectors to make sure it is implemented.

Recent surveys suggest the majority of the public is behind the ban, but there is hardly any enthusiasm at a traditional coffee house in Tomtom Kaptan in Istanbul where patrons play cards or dominos with cigarettes hanging from the corners of their mouths.

"It is just stupid to be told to stop smoking or step outside for a cigarette," complained tradesman Sedat Safak, although he grudgingly admitted that he would obey the ban "if I have no other choice".

The establishment's owner, Sakir Aras, said he rejoiced in the ban as a non-smoker, but expressed worry that he will lose clients.

"People who smoke make my place dirty and get on my nerves," he confided, but added that he would never refuse serving a client or consider filing a complaint against offenders like the law says.

"People who come here are my friends," he said.

Also targeted by the ban are the water-pipe cafes which have sprung up in Tophane on the shore of the Bosphorus after the century-old tradition became fashionable again in recent years.

Mehmet Sirkeci, the owner of Cafe Parma, said he has put his hopes in herbal molasses to smoke with a water pipe before wintertime deals a heavy blow to his business.

"I tried a water pipe based on aromatic herbs. The taste is the same and there is no nicotine. We will try to survive on that," he said, but with no certainty that this mixture will escape the ban.

As a doctor who has witnessed cigarette consumption decrease more than two percent in the last two years, Erguder is optimistic that the ban will contribute to the changing mentality in Turkey.

"Five or ten years ago, people would offer cigarettes to guests. They no longer do that. People also tend not to smoke near children any more," he said. "We are on the eve of a great change."

Once the ban comes into effect, there remains but one option for unpenitent smokers, as summarised by Ender Erin, a doctor, as he dragged on a cigarette in a trendy bar in the nightlife district of Beyoglu.

"If we have to go out to smoke, we will go out and in winter we will all freeze but we will still smoke," he said.

Source: AFP
LIN
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Top 9 Reasons Why We Should Practice Kindness
Top 10 Vitamin B12 Foods for Vegetarians - Slideshow
Targeted Screening Program Beneficial for Prostate Cancer Screening
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Health Hazards of Smoking Smoking And Cancer Smoking And Tobacco Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease Bubbles and Brews - Alcohol Facts Smoking Cigarette Smoking - A Silent Killer Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Leriche Syndrome Antioxidants to Help You When You Quit Smoking 

Most Popular on Medindia

Find a Hospital Accident and Trauma Care Nutam (400mg) (Piracetam) Iron Intake Calculator Pregnancy Confirmation Calculator Drug - Food Interactions Sinopril (2mg) (Lacidipine) Selfie Addiction Calculator Post-Nasal Drip Vent Forte (Theophylline)

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use