By Buket Guven
ANKARA (AA) - A Turkish group aimed at shielding children from the harm of smoking on Thursday pressured a foundation to cancel an online event promoting the use of tobacco products.
In a press release, the Initiative to Protect Children from the Tobacco Epidemic and Its Harm demanded that the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV) cancel an online seminar with the tobacco industry set for Friday on the grounds that it would contribute the normalization of products known to be harmful to public health, children in particular.
Claiming that TEPAV aims at normalizing the use of electronic cigarettes and tobacco products, the initiative also urged the foundation to "put an end to any collaboration with the tobacco industry, notably the Foundation for a Smoke Free World."
The press release claimed that Foundation for a Smoke Free World provides funding for the writing of unscientific and manipulative reports, which would be shared with experts during the online seminar.
Emphasizing the danger smoking poses to public health, especially children and young people, the press release urged TEPAV to avoid actions and cooperation which could promote the use of highly addictive substances such as electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products.
The Initiative to Protect Children from Tobacco Epidemic and Its Harm cooperates with 27 organizations including the World Health Organization to fight against the "malicious" industries promoting the use of tobacco, and to create a civil society that is aware of the harmful effects of such products.
* Writing by Dilan Pamuk in Ankara