Turkey sees record-breaking cigarette consumption in 2018 – report

Turkey saw its highest figures of cigarette consumption to date in 2018, with a study revealing 1400 cigarettes were consumed for every person, state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Sunday.

“Last year, we experienced the biggest consumption of tobacco in the history of the republic. We consumed a total of 118.5 billion cigarettes. That’s 1400 cigarettes per person. How did we get here when we have attained so much success in tobacco control? The tobacco industry has regained strength,” Professor Elif Dağlı of the Turkish Thoracic Association said in a press conference held by the organisation.

Dağlı pointed to the problem of e-cigarettes and other new products that are brought into Turkey illegally, highlighting 15 different websites that are currently selling illegal products online.  

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca in February said the incidence of smoking in the country had increased from 27 percent to 32 percent in recent years, despite a ban on smoking in public places and the ministry was preparing to launch a new anti-smoking campaign.

Ankara earlier this month announced a 20 percent price increase on cigarettes following its January move of increasing special consumption tax on cigarettes to 67 percent from 63 percent.