Last month, Turkey’s Grand National Assembly Commission on Planning and Budget stated that they would be withdrawing plans to allow the import and manufacture of vape products in country. This has led to widespread debate across the international community about the negative impact this could have on smoking cessation in a country where 28.8% of adults are smokers.
Whatever the reason or the ban, whether it be preference for tobacco company’s involvement in the countries economy or whether they want to invest in other smoking cessation services, the World Health Organisation has applauded their decision.
Why are they banning vape devices?
Due to the large amount of tobacco smokers in Turkey, banning tobacco related products that contain nicotine have been banned outright, whilst non smoking areas have been introduced in Turkish public spaces since 2004, when they joined the WHO FCTC, which looks to implement restrictions on tobacco products. This has led to vape products being banned outright
What has the backlash been?
The problem here is that backlash against tobacco companies planning on importing heat not burn alternatives to tobacco have been met with an outright ban. This means that low risk alternatives are not available, which makes current smokers far less likely to turn from their old habits to vape products.
As we know, the UK’s NHS and Cancer Research UK Charity have recently supported vaping as a smoking cessation tool due to it being scientifically proven to be at least 95% safer than smoking. When companies like Turkey ban vaping outright it does little to help the fight against the damaging effects of tobacco and instead encourages current smokers not to quit at all.