Turkey to ban e-cigarettes, says health minister

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A person smokes an electronic cigarette on March 05, 2013 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)

Turkish Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca has said the government is working on legislation to prohibit electronic cigarettes by blocking their entry into the country, the Diken news website reported on Tuesday.

Koca’s remarks came a few days after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan targeted e-cigarettes, saying customs authorities should work harder to prevent their entry.

“They pretend it’s just a habit and poses no harm to people’s health. That’s simply nonsense,” Erdoğan said.

Minister Koca also said the definition of indoor space needs an update as they have observed that businesses make better arrangements for smokers, pushing non-smokers into less favorable places.

He added that the government is also planning to introduce a voluntary program under which individuals will be able to monitor smoking, perhaps even impose fines themselves.

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