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TA NEA: Four million Turks cut off the habit after ban

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Turks looked like they could never give up from smoking habit just a year ago.

Do you remember the article I have written about smoking ban comparison between Greece and Turkey. You may read it here.

On Saturday, there was an article about smoking ban in Turkey at Greek newspaper Ta Nea. The article was written by Anna Andreou, of course, in Greek. I read the Google translate version of it. It says:

On July 19 ended a year since implemented a ban on smoking in enclosed public places in Turkey. The Government celebrates that smoking has been reduced by 20%. “Smokers were 26 million and decreased to 22 million. Four million have quited. We predict that by the end of the year smokers will decrease to 17 million, “said the deputy governor Ahmet Aydin Istanbul.

Do not think that, all Turks are interested in their health. One of the major reason that number of smokers reduced is that the price of the 1 package of cigarette increased nearly 100%. Actually, now it is more expensive than Greece; around €3.5. If you think that Turks gross yearly income per year is 3 times less than Greek average; actually price story tells it all.

The comments by the readers on the website are quite interesting. Read all if you have time…

UPDATE 2010-July-27
I read this at Kathimerini today:

Harvard to help in smoking ban
Greece is gearing up for a blanket ban on smoking in public places by enlisting the help of Harvard University, with which it signed an agreement yesterday to provide help developing the government’s anti-tobacco policies and mounting publicity campaigns.

The Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) will also help Greece conduct research, organize conferences and train all the officials who will be involved in imposing the ban as well as developing strategies to foster an anti-smoking culture, particularly among children. The smoking ban, which will prevent Greeks from lighting up in bars, cafes and restaurants, will come into effect on September 1.

Julio Frenk, the dean of the HSPH, which has some 300 teaching staff and 950 students, signed the memorandum of cooperation along with the Health Ministry’s general secretary, Antonis Dimopoulos, and the president of the Hellenic Cancer Society, Stavros Besbeas.

UPDATE

2010-Aug-02 : According to the latest statistics Greeks are the (officially) number 1 in smoking. See below numbers.

World's Biggest Smokers: Greece is the winner !
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