Turkish president scoffs at the idea of a 'right to smoke'

Calls for the state to 'protect from tobacco, alcohol and drugs'

09 February, 19:53

    (ANSAmed) - ISTANBUL, FEBRUARY 9 - Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday during a reception at his residence in Ankara that ''there can be no such freedom as the freedom to smoke''.

    ''Just as there can be no such freedom as the freedom to kill oneself or to expose oneself to fatal diseases,'' he added, speaking on World No Tobacco Day. ''The most important thing is to protect non-smokers, not smokers. The state is responsible for protecting its citizens from tobacco, alcohol and drugs, just as it is responsible for protecting property owners from theft and innocent citizens from terrorists,'' he said. Turkish health minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu announced that the government was drawing up new smoking bans in some open spaces such as public parks, areas around shopping centers and other gathering places. (ANSAmed).

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