Sunday, March 05, 2006

'Smokes like a Turk' no more - Turkish Daily News Mar 05, 2006

I don't know if I would know how to react if I didn't come home smelling like smoke. It's hard to imagine getting smokers to enforce penalties on other smokers:

"Parliament gears up on imposing tough anti-smoking rules as part of its efforts to fight the addiction, but there are some who believe this law will end up like the similar laws that came before, constantly violated."

"The anti-smoking lawmakers have drawn the ire of the owners of coffee and tea houses, who see the bill as a threat to their business.

Smoking is also an ancestral tradition that goes back to the 17th century, when the "nargile" -- the hookah, or water pipe -- became a fixture in Ottoman coffee houses.

The contraption is now enjoying a revival among the youth of Turkey's big cities after several decades of being out of fashion.

"How can you prevent someone from lighting up while sipping a cup of Turkish coffee?" asked İsa Guven, president of an Ankara chamber of cafe owners. "They are using the EU as an excuse to kill off our ancient profession."

"For about half the adult population of Turkey, smoking is an absolutely normal activity, the result being a permanent national health disaster with anti-smoking campaigns making barely a dent in the habit.

Health Ministry figures show about 110,000 Turks die of smoking-related illness each year. About 60 percent of men and 20 percent of women in the country of 71 million people are smokers, one of the highest rates in Europe.

The lung cancer rate is high, and two-thirds of the 150,000 cases recorded annually are a direct result of smoking, said Dr. Murat Tuncer, head of the Health Ministry's anti-cancer unit."

"Among the reasons for the high smoking rate is relatively low prices, for example $3.30 for a pack of Marlboros, and the fact that Turkey itself is a major tobacco producer, responsible for 4 percent of the world output."
'Smokes like a Turk' no more - Turkish Daily News Mar 05, 2006

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