Published on:08 May 2016
Enfield Council is launching a drive to help members of the Turkish community stop smoking.
Disturbing research by Enfield Council shows that smoking among the Turkish community in the borough is three times greater than the national average.
Enfield Council is therefore running a conference to highlight the dangers of smoking and tobacco use and to support the Turkish community to become smoke free.
The research showed that young people with a Turkish background take up smoking earlier than the borough average, smoke more and are more likely to smoke alternative forms of tobacco.
Across the borough as a whole just 13.6% of adults now smoke.
Even more worrying were some of the myths uncovered about shisha tobacco with some believing that it was not tobacco and not realising that shisha smoking has been estimated as being the equivalent of smoking 20 cigarettes.
Dr. Mick Ozkar, consultant cardiologist at the North Middlesex Hospital, will start the workshop by talking about the dangers of smoking.
He said: “Unfortunately for a long time tobacco was part of Turkish culture and even though fewer people are smoking in Turkey this fall has not been seen in the UK. .
“Working in the North Middlesex Hospital I see the damage that it causes: heart disease; breathing difficulties; Alzheimer’s, cancer. These are serious health problems and cut lives short.”
Smoking adviser, Ufuc Genc will talk about what is already happening in the borough to help people quit. There will be time for people taking part in the workshop to discuss how to increase work to stop people from starting to smoke, how they can stop and how to and support others.
Cllr Nneka Keazor, Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health & Sports, said: “Fewer and fewer people are smoking, both nationally and particularly in Enfield.
"Where people do smoke it causes serious harm both to the smoker and those around them. I am therefore very pleased that work in Enfield to reduce prevalence has been successful.
“This conference will build on that success with the Turkish community where progress to date has not been so rapid.”