Health Ministry to extend smoke-free zones in restaurants, cafes
ANKARATurkey will introduce a new smoking ban that will extend the smoke-free zones of restaurants to semi-closed parts of restaurants and cafes.
Turkish Health Minister Recep Akdağ announced that they would introduce new regulations in 2017 to promote healthy life that will include steps against tobacco and tobacco products.
Akdağ said some venues were allowing customers to smoke in areas that were closed on the top but open the side since such premises are classified as being open.
“We will count places that are closed on the top as closed spaces even if they have three sides open. The material of the closed side is not important; even if it is made of glass, [this space] will be counted as a closed space,” said Akdağ.
As part of ongoing health programs against smoking, the rate of smoking has decreased from 31 to 26 percent, but there has been a rise in the rate of smoking among young people, Akdağ said, noting that media campaigns will have to be developed against the habit.
Akdağ also said they would enforce regulations on smoking in closed places much more strictly.
He said one of the plans in the fight against tobacco products was to keep cigarette packages in markets in closets whose contents are hidden from view. The other plan is to sell them in packages in which their brands are not visible but which feature large warning signs.
Under the most recent regulation, smoking in open spaces in which children play, as well as on walking paths and in sporting areas, has been prohibited. The regulation also stipulates that people cannot smoke in spaces that are within five meters of the entrance doors of places like airports, bus terminals, train stations,
shopping malls, cinemas, theater halls and health centers.