Istanbul leading the way in smoking fines
ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Turkey extended the smoking ban to all bars, cafes and restaurants in 2009. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIKAuthorities have levied nearly 13 million Turkish Liras in fines in Istanbul for violations of Turkey’s tough anti-smoking laws that came into effect in 2009, although officials continue to struggle with collections, according to Health Ministry figures.
The government has been working to increase its rate of collection, bringing in 3.5 million liras in fine money in the first 10 months of 2012 after collecting only 453,000 liras between 2009 and 2011.
The law, which bans smoking designated smoke-free areas, imposes fines of 69 liras on individuals caught lighting up in restricted areas, while bar owners who fail to enforce the ban can be fined anywhere from 560 liras for a first offence up to 5,600 liras.
Smoking was first banned in 1997 in public transportation vehicles and public spaces where more than four people worked. Since July 19, 2009, when Turkey extended the smoking ban to all bars, cafes and restaurants, 12.8 million liras in fines have been levied on businesses breaking the law, while around 1 million liras in fines have been given to individuals.
According to information provided by the Health Ministry, more than 208,000 facilities have been inspected since the ban came into effect.