With the consistent ban on nicotine consumption in public places in the last few years since 2009, a wave of indignation initially arose, since the Turks in particular are known for consuming/enjoying huge quantities of cigarettes.
This ban has always been good for people's health, not to mention the significant "air improvement" in the restaurants and inns for the non-smoking part of the population and all the serving staff. Everyone has certainly noticed the posters in public places that make smoking a punishable offense, after all, 82 TL are due for violations. Sometimes only draconian punishments help to bring the population "closer" to a healthier lifestyle, don't they? Perhaps insight through enlightenment would also be a solution?
Hookahs, called Nargile, Hookah or Sisha in Turkey
According to press statements from Turkish government circles, water pipes, known in Turkey as narghile, hookah or shisha, are now to disappear from public view. However, this is a real Turkish tradition, because for centuries smoking the hookah has been much more than just plain tobacco and nicotine enjoyment.
First established in the vicinity of the mosques, which were visited after prayer by believers to smoke tea and water pipes, special small inns have developed over the centuries, which are now supposed to be tackled. Today, smoking narghile or hookah can almost be described as a trend, the locations are so popular.
And for a long time now it has no longer been pure tobacco, mostly imported from Egypt, that is kept smouldering moist with pieces of charcoal, but often very fragrant additives that are contained in the tobacco and thus attracted new followers. A phenomenon that is also spreading in Europe.
However, it is precisely these tobacco additives, often with fruity aromas such as apple, banana or cherry, that have a high risk potential. These fragrant ingredients in tobacco, which all too easily tempt you to inhale the smoke deeply and thus keep it in your lungs for a long time, make consumption so harmful, usually much more dangerous than smoking conventional cigarettes. Who knows what ingredients get into the lungs when inhaled.
Contribute to the damage in health and pension provision
So it is only too understandable that after the ban on smoking cigarettes in public, smoking of narghile is now also banned in a consistent manner. The chairman of the health commission of the Turkish parliament, Cevdet Erdgas, wants to introduce a corresponding bill in the near future, which will also ban smoking narghile, hookah or shisha in public, despite the centuries-old tradition. The approach to taking care of the health of one's own population is a very positive argument in itself.
In addition to the ban on smoking in public and the drastic increase in the price of cigarettes, the Turkish anti-smoking campaigns also had an effect. After all, the strict measures have already caused a drastic decline in cigarette consumption.
But despite all these measures and social knowledge, the issue of smoking in Turkey is still a mass phenomenon that needs to be stopped. According to reports by the OECD, Turkey ranks 5th in a comparative ranking of 34 OECD countries in terms of smoking habits. The additional economic costs caused by illness or absence due to the consequential damage of smoking justify the measures in any case. It has long been inconceivable that the general public also bears the costs for the damage caused by smoking in health and pension schemes. Similar to the example in Europe, those who caused the consequential damage should slowly be given a greater share of the costs they cause. In principle, all these theses also apply to smoking the water pipe. Because even this very unhealthy habit should at least be limited, despite the tradition.
To drastically limit the consumption of alcohol in public places
What an outcry followed last year when there was suddenly a ban on alcohol at various public events in Istanbul, above all the ban on alcohol consumption during the big open-air rock concert. The governor of Afyonkarahisar also caused some resentment with his ban on alcohol in public places last year when he announced on April 24, 2012 that the sale and consumption of alcohol in public places would be drastically restricted.
One would wish that this insight would also find its way into other areas that are harmful to the health of the population, despite nowhere written religious reasons, which are dug out again and again by the representatives of outdated rites and which always cause excitement and controversial discussions. Here too, however, it quickly becomes clear how different standards are applied. Demon the one and keep the other despite knowing better.
But that is an insight that rarely catches on, even in Europe.
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