Sunday, January 06, 2008

Smoking ban arrives in Turkey quicker than we could have ever expected...


(As seen in) Bursa, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Hard to believe... we were thinking this might happen in maybe ten years time but it has already happened according to this news from the BBC

" The Parliament in Turkey has voted to introduce a blanket ban on smoking in enclosed public places. Banning smoking was until recently completely unthinkable in Turkey, where 40% of the adult population - 25 million people - are smokers.

But such bans are now common in Europe. Health campaigners say one in five deaths in Turkey - a major tobacco producer - is tobacco-related.

The new ban will outlaw smoking in all enclosed public places, including bars, cafes and restaurants as well as taxis, trains and outdoor stadiums. It is due to come into force in about 18 months' time.

Many smokers too are outraged by what they see as an infringement of their civil liberties, and are warning that they will ignore the new law. But against this, the new law is being strongly praised by health campaigners. They point out that smoking-related illnesses cost Turkey up to 3bn lira (£1.4bn; $2.7bn) a year.

The anti-smoking lobby has on its side a powerful supporter in the shape of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Well-known for his dislike of smoking, it is Mr Erdogan himself who has championed the new law through parliament and who in this instance, at least, appears more than ready to put principle ahead of popularity."

Hard to believe because everyone lights up, including young school boys and middle aged Anatolian mothers... oh well... Holland follows on 1st July.

5 Comments:

Blogger snowbird said...

The bandwagon of local smoking bans now steamrolling across the nation -
from sea to sea- has nothing to do with protecting people from the supposed
threat of "second-hand" smoke.

Indeed, the bans themselves are symptoms of a far more grievous threat; a
cancer that has been spreading for decades and has now metastasized
throughout the body politic, spreading even to the tiniest organs of local
government. This cancer is the only real hazard involved - the cancer of
unlimited government power.

The issue is not whether second-hand smoke is a real danger or a phantom
menace, as a study published recently in the British Medical Journal
indicates. The issue is: if it were harmful, what would be the proper
reaction? Should anti-tobacco activists satisfy themselves with educating
people about the potential danger and allowing them to make
their own decisions, or should they seize the power of government and force
people to make the "right" decision?

Supporters of local tobacco bans have made their choice. Rather than
attempting to protect people from an unwanted intrusion on their health, the
tobacco bans are the unwanted intrusion.

Loudly billed as measures that only affect "public places," they have
actually targeted private places: restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops, and
offices - places whose owners are free to set anti-smoking rules or whose
customers are free to go elsewhere if they don't like the smoke. Some local
bans even harass smokers in places where their effect on others is obviously
negligible, such as outdoor public parks.

The decision to smoke, or to avoid "second-hand" smoke, is a question to be
answered by each individual based on his own values and his own assessment
of the risks. This is the same kind of decision free people make regarding
every aspect of their lives: how much to spend or invest, whom to befriend
or sleep with, whether to go to college or get a job, whether to get married
or divorced, and so on.

All of these decisions involve risks; some have demonstrably harmful
consequences; most are controversial and invite disapproval from the
neighbours. But the individual must be free to make these decisions. He must
be free, because his life belongs to him, not to his neighbours, and only
his
own judgment can guide him through it.

Yet when it comes to smoking, this freedom is under attack. Cigarette
smokers are a numerical minority, practicing a habit considered annoying and
unpleasant to the majority. So the majority has simply commandeered the
power of government and used it to dictate their behaviour.

That is why these bans are far more threatening than the prospect of
inhaling a few stray whiffs of tobacco while waiting for a table at your
favourite restaurant. The anti-tobacco crusaders point in exaggerated alarm
at those wisps of smoke while they unleash the systematic and unlimited
intrusion of government into our lives.

We do not elect officials to control and manipulate our behaviour.
They are in office to serve us, not vice- versa.


Thomas Laprade
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Ph. 807 3457258

08 January, 2008 08:52  
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