Ministry to provide free anti-smoking medicine to 300,000 in Turkey

The Turkish Health Ministry will extend free medicine to some 300,000 citizens who wish to quit smoking, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.

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The Turkish Health Ministry will extend free medicine to some 300,000 citizens who wish to quit smoking, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.

Turkish Health Ministry’s decision was issued in the Official Gazette on May 6.

According to the decision, people who wish to quit smoking can benefit from free or discounted medicine provided by the ministry regardless of their health coverage.

“People who are receiving treatment to quit smoking are eligible for free or reduced medicine, regardless of health coverage, provided that the number does not exceed 300,000,” the decision published in the Official Gazette said, noting that nicotine replacements, Bupropion HCI and varenicline would be provided by the ministry.

The Health Ministry has provided approximately 82,000 people with a program to quit smoking following their applications.

Some 2,610,000 people have called Turkey’s “ALO 171,” a call center that was established by the ministry with the aim of helping people to quit smoking, and 82,000 of them were presented a plan.

The call center provides service around the clock through a total of 175 operators. The addiction levels of the applicants are determined before a plan is produced for those intent on quitting smoking. Applicants also receive information regarding the harms of smoking and are called by the ministry six times a year to provide support.

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