Large-scale bans have more Turks calling hotlines to quit smoking


Turkey has expanded smoking bans over the past few years and more Turkish people are calling the 171 hotline, a telephone counseling service to help smokers quit smoking. The Turkish Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) has reported that the quit smoking line is among the most-called helplines, following the 112 emergency line, 155 police emergency hotline, 121 hospital appointment hotline and 121 Türk Telekom hotline.

The 112 emergency line was the most-called helpline in 2016. A number of new regulations have been imposed, aiming to curb smoking rates in Turkey with smoking restrictions in or near children's playgrounds and parks. Smoking was banned in public offices, airplanes and buses in 1997, with additional bans covering indoor areas, open areas of public institutions and transportation in 2008, which included bars, restaurants, coffeehouses and hookah cafes.

The mobile app "Yeşil Dedektör" (Green Detector), developed by the Green Crescent Society - known as "Yeşilay" in Turkish - was launched last month, as a means to inform related authorities that there are smokers in non-smoking areas, or indoor areas where smoking is prohibited.

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