According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 2015 report on the global tobacco epidemic which was released on Tuesday, Turkey is among the top seven countries who has passed 100% smoke-free laws.
The latest figures by a Turkish regularity authority on the tobacco and alcohol market had revealed that some TL 230 billion ($85 billion) were spent on tobacco products in the past decade.
Moreover, Turkey is one of the few countries combating smoking effectively by implementing a widespread ban and efforts to curb smoking by helping addicts. Smokers are provided with Bupropion HCI and Varenicline, two drugs used as smoking cessation aids and nicotine replacements.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan himself is also a staunch opponent of smoking and alcohol consumption and repeatedly warns people on the dangers of smoking and urges the public to quit the habit.
The 2015 report titled "Global Tobacco Epidemic" is the fifth in the WHO report series tracking the use of tobacco and possible interventions to stop its consumption. The report emphasized that the most effective- and cost-effective- way to reduce tobacco use is to increase taxes on tobacco products.
Even though the WHO states that many nations still have very low takes or no takes at all on tobacco, the 2015 report is notably more improved than the previous report released in 2013. The number of people who have implemented at least one of the six MPOWER measures at the highest level has gone up from 2.3 billion people to 2.8 (billion).
Within the framework of the six MPOWER measures launched in New York City on February 7, 2008, countries must:
- Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies
- Protect people from tobacco smoke,
- Offer help to quit tobacco use,
- Warn about the dangers of tobacco,
- Enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship,
- Raise taxes on tobacco
Countries including Brazil, Iran, Madagascar, New Zealand, Panama, Uruguay and Turkey have carried out at least one of six sets of agreed-upon tobacco-control policies at the highest level.
The report stated that over the past decade cigarette prices have tripled and takes have doubled; tax rates have risen from 58% to 65% of retail price from 2005 to 2011; smoking prevalence has fallen from 31,2& to 27,1% and between the years 2008-2012 tobacco sales have declined by 12%.
The WHO said that one person dies every six seconds and about six million people die every year from tobacco-related diseases, and that the number is likely to increase. The health organization warned that if stronger measures aren't taken eight million people will die in a year by 2030.
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