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Smoking Terrace for Atatürk Airport

Dogan News Agency: Istanbul | 10/8/2009 12:00:00 AM | Faik Kaptan

A smoking terrace at Atatürk International Airport is back in service after crews made modifications so that the area adheres to new criteria regarding indoor smoking.

A Smoking Terrace at the International Terminal of Atatürk airport is now in service.

Through the modifications made to the terrace, smokers waiting at the terminal for their planes now have a place to light up. The way to the terrace is now indicated by information signs placed throughout the terminal.

Last month, a smoking room was opened at great cost in the international terminal, but was shut down immediately by officials for not meeting standards even though airport authorities said officials were aware of the plans.

Mehmet Ali Ulutaş, an official from the airport, said the terrace was built by removing the terminal’s roof and sidewalls; as such, the area is not a smoking place built inside the terminal but actually constitutes the terrace of a restaurant within the facility. Ulutaş said the terrace is surrounded by wires to prevent any burning object from falling onto the apron. Ulutaş said they consulted the Ministry of Health before opening the terrace and explained that the area was necessary given the number of passengers waiting for long periods who need a place to smoke.

[HH] Details of the ban

The legislation that took effect July 19 outlawed smoking in all enclosed public places, including bars, cafes, restaurants and places where nargile, or hookah, is smoked, as well as taxis, trains and outdoor stadiums. The ban excludes residences. Businesses are additionally required to make arrangements that protect nonsmokers from fumes if smoking is allowed in open-air parts of their premises.

Any area with a mobile or fixed ceiling or roof – including tents and sunshades – that has doors, windows and permanent or temporary walls, except for entrances, as well as areas that have ceilings or roofs and more than half of the sides sealed are deemed “enclosed areas” under the law.

The consumption of tobacco products is prohibited in all railway, highway, sea and air-transportation vehicles, including taxis, and in places where any sporting, cultural, educational or recreational activity takes place in the open air, including in the spectator area. The ban covers both private and public schools and the places where private institutions give private courses, called dersane.

Special sections that are not to exceed 10 percent of the overall space, and must be isolated from other enclosed areas, are being set aside for smokers in nursing homes, mental hospitals and prisons. Similar-sized areas can also be created on the decks of sea-transport vehicles for smokers on intercity and international routes. People under the age of 18 will not be allowed to enter these sections.

Under the new law, hotels must set up rooms with ventilation systems that meet established standards for guests who smoke. These rooms must be on the same floor or corridor as each other.

Individuals who do not obey the ban are fined 69 Turkish Liras, while those who let people smoke in enclosed areas are fined between 560 and 5,600 liras.

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