Turkey's Istanbul benefits from smoking ban

16:07, July 17, 2010      

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Turkey's largest city of Istanbul on Friday reported a 20 percent drop in patients checking into emergency rooms for cigarette-related illness thanks to the one- year smoking ban.

The results of the study was announced by the Istanbul Health Department and Marmara University Medical School.

The study said that the number of patients checking into emergency rooms for smoking related health complications has decreased in the year after the smoking ban.

Istanbul Health Director Ali Ihsan Dokucu said that compared to the same period of last year, the first five months of 2010 had 20 percent less patients checking into emergency rooms for cigarette- related illnesses.

Meanwhile, the reduction in smoking has caused a savings of 2.9 million Turkish Lira (about 1.9 million U.S. dollars) in medicine costs.

Dokucu said "this situation is concrete proof of the success of the smoking ban."

President of the Cigarettes and Health National Committee Elif Bagli said that compared to the first five months of 2009, 363 million less packs of cigarettes were sold in 2010, resulting in a saving of 1.8 billion liras.

She added that there was also 30 percent reduction in heart attacks, saying "this ban has not only benefited us health-wise, but also generated financial gain."

On July 19 last year, Turkey went smoke-free as the government introduced a ban in bars, cafes and restaurants -- despite business owners' protests -- in a bid to break the national addiction to nicotine.

Those who breaks the ban will be punished by a fine about 45 U. S. dollars.

The ban brings Turkey into line with most European Union states, but while Turkey is an aspirant EU member, it said that the ban is being imposed for health reasons.

Source:Xinhua

(Editor:梁军)

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