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The Perils of Smoking Cigarettes in Turkmenistan

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov is against cigarette smoking and his antismoking stance has led officials to adopt and strictly enforce new rules concerning tobacco use -- all reportedly with an eye on making the country tobacco-free by 2025.
 
Although Turkmenistan now has the lowest rate of tobacco use in the world according to the WHO, the restrictions on cigarettes must rough on many citizens of the country. If there is one thing I remember from my days in Turkmenistan it’s that the men smoke -- a lot.
 
There are differing accounts about the new antismoking rules. Some Iranian media were reporting in late January that smoking had been banned throughout Turkmenistan. It never actually reached that point but the lives of smokers have definitely become more complicated.
 
RFE/RL's Turkmen Service, known locally as Azatlyk, decided to do some investigating. The Turkmen government doesn't like Azatlyk so the country's people are understandably frightened to speak with us.
 

To read the full story

Copyright (c) 2016. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

The Perils of Smoking Cigarettes in Turkmenistan

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