The WHO report presents information from 179 member countries every year regarding the tobacco epidemic and tobacco control policies. The organization releases its annual report every year in a different country or a city which has made significant progress in the fight against smoking or has become a role model in combating smoking.
Last year’s meeting was held in New York, where a smoking ban in restaurants and bars was launched. London, Dublin, Mexico City, Montevideo and Istanbul were candidates to host this year’s meeting. The WHO selected İstanbul because of the “100 percent smoke-free air in Turkey” campaign which was successfully implemented in July 2009 after the smoking ban in enclosed areas. The meeting is to take place on Dec. 9 and will be attended by Turkish health minister Recep Akdağ as well as a group of WHO officials, including those from the WHO’s European zone and its office in Turkey, led by WHO Assistant director General Ala Alwan -- Iraq’s former health minister, and the director of the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative, Douglas Bettcher.