The Health Ministry plans to expand Turkey’s smoking ban to open areas that are close to indoor spaces where large numbers of people gather, as part of a new campaign to combat smoking.
The ministry will include open areas such as children’s parks, and the open areas of restaurants, cafes and teahouses to locations where smoking will not be allowed, as part of its National Tobacco Control Program 2014-2018. The entrances of shopping malls, cinemas and theaters will also be off-limits to smokers with the new plans.
Public service ads will also be prepared in order to inform citizens about the health risks of passive smoking. The fight against the sale of electronic cigarettes on the Internet, which the ministry believes encourages more traditional smoking, will also be stepped up.
All of the tobacco industry’s actions, including advertisements, promotion and sponsorship, will also be closely monitored by the ministry, including any ads or campaigns that encourage the youth to use tobacco.
The ministry’s program aims to raise public awareness against the use of tobacco products in at least 95 percent of the public as of 2018.
It also aims to increase the rate of the Turkish population who have quit smoking to more than 50 percent, rising to 60 percent among health workers, teachers, religion officials, security and judiciary officials. The ministry has also set the target of persuading 90 percent of smoking pregnant women to quit.
As part of the campaign, medical personnel will receive special training on the subject, while every hospital in the country will have at least one doctor who will be able to provide treatment for those who want to quit.