Erdoğan slams use of electronic cigarettes

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, known for his staunch anti-cigarette stance, this time has slammed the increasing use of electronic cigarettes.

“They have invented something bizarre called ‘electronic cigarette.’ They claim it does not contain any nicotine or very little of it. But soon people will become addicted to it,” Erdoğansaid at a symposium on international drug policies and public health in Istanbul.

He said cigarette companies approach the government to make investments in Turkey.

“They are saying they will invest $500 million or $1 billion. But we offer them alternatives. We are asking if they are going to export what they produce here. Would you do that, we ask. But they demand at least 10 percent of their products be consumed domestically. Then their true intention becomes clear,” Erdoğan said.

Erdoğan suggested that those companies want to turn the youth into addicts.

“We will not allow this to happen,” the president said.

He also noted that not only alcohol and tobacco addiction but also addiction to electronicdevices has become a serious threat.

“Two-year-old children are addicted to mobile phones. This is yet another threat. What can we do about this? We have to work on this,” Erdoğan said.

There are some 70 million mobile phones sold in Turkey against the country’s population of 81 million, according to the president.

“This is an alarming sign,” he said.

Erdoğan noted that there is no coincidence that the main financing source of terror organizations is drug trading as well as alcohol and tobacco smuggling.

Addiction and terror resemble each other. The swamp must be drained for an effective fight against both. Therefore, the struggle against addictive products is also a struggle to dry out the resources of terrorism,” Erdoğan added.

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