Lung cancer, predominately caused by cigarette smoking, is claiming the lives of nearly 15,000 people a year in Turkey according to a statement released by the Turkish Association of Lung Cancer. Lung cancer has become the leading cause of death of men between the ages of 40 and 65.

I’ve lived in Turkey for about 15 months now and I’ve noticed that cigarette smoking is the norm. A large percentage of the population, especially males, smoke cigarettes. It reminds me of the U.S. in the 1950’s. People smoke in restaurants, bars, shops, malls, offices, homes, everywhere…. No smoking signs are posted in a few places but they are ignored for the most part. Even in private homes, where the occupants do not smoke, ash trays are happily provided for smoking guests.

I haven’t noticed any anti smoking campaigns in Turkey, but many of the younger people I’ve met abhor the habit. Perhaps the trend is on the reversal, but in the mean time some of the big American tobacco companies are doing quite well in Turkey.

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