Cigarette production, consumption continue to fall in Turkey

According to information the Anatolia news agency received from the regulatory body, the number of cigarettes produced went down by 23 percent, from 63.4 billion units to 48.8 billion units, in the first seven months of this year over the same period a year ago. Production had already decreased from 132.9 billion units in 2009 to 115.2 billion last year, a reduction of over 13 percent.

The drop in production parallels the reduction in the sale of cigarettes in Turkey.

A ban on smoking tobacco products in all indoor public areas has been in effect in 2008.

A ban on smoking tobacco products in all indoor public areas has been in effect in 2008.

TAPDK data show that the number of cigarettes sold in the country dropped from 107.5 billion units two years ago to 93.3 billion in 2010, a reduction of more than 13 percent in one year. The downward trend continued, albeit at a slower pace, this year. Turks purchased 700 million fewer boxes in the first seven months of this year than the January-July period in 2010.

The reduction in both production and sale of cigarettes is not without reason. A ban on smoking tobacco products in all indoor public areas, including cafes and bars, has been in effect for three years. Turkey had long been a nation of smokers and passive smokers, with no regulations to prohibit smoking in public places, but this changed on May 19, 2008, as a law banning smoking n public venues went into effect.

The ban on smoking includes all educational, health, commercial, social, cultural, sports and entertainment facilities, including the corridors of these buildings. It does, however, allow for specially designed smoking sections in nursing homes, asylums and prisons. The new law is very strict in regards to educational facilities, where smoking is banned even in yards and other open areas.

The law also banned tobacco sales to people under the age of 18. Furthermore, people below this age cannot be employed in tobacco production or sales. Selling individual cigarettes, which is especially common near schools, was also prohibited in a clause that aims to prevent young people from taking up smoking. Only certified places are now allowed to sell tobacco products, and other means of tobacco sales, such as the Internet, are illegal.

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