Can demand-side policies stop the tobacco industry's damage? Lessons from Turkey

Gultekin-Karakas D.

GLOBAL PUBLIC HEALTH, vol.10, no.7, pp.777-793, 2015 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 10 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/17441692.2014.998699
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.777-793
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


Trade and investment liberalisation in the post-1980 period allowed the penetration of transnational tobacco companies into the Turkish market. State control over the market was gradually removed and tobacco farming, manufacturing, trade and consumption were reshaped in line with the needs of transnational tobacco companies. The resultant increase in product proliferation and aggressive marketing strategies led to a dramatic rise in cigarette consumption in the 1990s, making Turkey a market with one of the sharpest consumption increases in the world. While Turkey implemented demand-side tobacco control policies to reduce consumption after 1996, it continued to stimulate manufacturing and trade in a conflicting way. The Turkish case verifies that the liberalisation process facilitated by the state under the auspices of international institutions conflicts with tobacco control. Liberalisation paves the way for market expansions of transnational tobacco companies that resist tobacco control in their drive for profit. Current global tobacco control policies, with no interest in controlling manufacturing, have limited effect on consumption. The Turkish case indicates the necessity of establishing public control over tobacco manufacturing and trade from a public health perspective.