“Where are we at Tobacco Control?” Workshop takes place at IAU.
Dr. Mustafa Aydin: “ We will continue to fight against tobacco until it disappears completely.”
The issue of enforcing laws against tobacco and tobacco products consumption in closed public areas was discussed during “Where are we at Tobaco Control?” workshop, organized at Istanbul Aydin University.
Speaking at the workshop Istanbul Aydin University President and Turkish Anti-Smoking Association President Dr. Mustafa Aydin said, “We will continue to fight against tobacco until it disappears completely.”
During the workshop the fight against smoking in closed public areas in Turkey where around 40 billion TL is spent on smoking and one in three adults smokes tobacco and tobacco products.
Hosted by Dr. Mustafa Aydin, Istanbul Vice Governor Hasan Ozturk, Istanbul District Governors, Istanbul Governorship Istanbul Public Health members and City Tobacco Control Board members and members of the Turkish Anti-Smoking Association attended the event.
“We Must Run A Strong Campaign Agaınst Smoking”
Mentioning the lost of lives because of smoking as being 120,000 individuals per year and money spent which is $25 billion, Dr. Mustafa Aydin said, “ We can get rid of smoking only with the way we fought during our indepence war. In our country, 21 million people smoke everyday and $25 billion is spent on cigarette. Each year, 120,000 people die. It is as if a small village disappears from the map. Half of our forests are burned because of cigarette and Turkey is becoming a desert. We are organizing campaigns to plant trees on one side and burning our forests on the other side. We can achieve our fight against tobacco hand in hand with education and health institutes, law enforcements, local administrations, artists leading the society, economists. I believe in this with all my heart. We will fight against smoking until it will disappears from the earth completely.”
“ Negligence In Inspections”
Emphasizing the workshops goal as to end legal infringement, Dr. Aydin said, “Some of the private companies violate the laws and direct our youth to the wrong direction. The most important thing here is education. These violations occur because we do not raise enough awareness against smoking among our people and students. In countries with low education level, inspections play an active role. District governorship and law enforcement, who have the inspection mechanism, should never tolerate the places they inspect. They need to enforce the law. Unfortunately, despite inspections the rate of penalties are not satisfactory, it is only 1%. For instance, in 2015, 4,907 out of 346,791 inspections were determined to have violated the law. Inspectors should be more sensitive towards this issue.”
“They Let Our Youth Die”
“Another important issue is the little shops that sell cigarettes individually around schools. These little shops let our youth die for the sake of making money. We, as education and health institutions, need to be included in the campaign against cigarette. We can get a result only with parents’ and society leaders. There is a need to start educational programs against tobacco and tobacco products in schools. There is a need to conduct seminars to show the real face of cigarette and how it effects people economically, socially, genetically and in terms of health in places such as companies, restaurants, and public places and visual and printed media should be used effectively. For instance, during primetime on TV or in an article in a newspaper, messages about cigarette smoking and its effects on health.”
“NGOs Were Very Effective”
Mentioning that the fight against smoking is becoming more effective each year, Istanbul Vice Governor Hasan Ozturk said, “We are in a better shape in fighting against smoking and came a long way. NGOs with their support to public and raising awareness have been very effective. We thanks everyone who supported us in our fight.”
“Cigarette Should Not Be Legal To Consume”
Speaking at the event, Buyukcekmece District Governor Mustafa Hulusi Arat defended that cigarette should be considered illegal and said, “ Institutions who fight against cigarette should avoid minor details. I suggest that the fight should be against considering cigarette legal. Statistics are not reliable. To be realistics, there is a resistance for every law in the society and with an effective inspection we can solve this problem.”