Turkey plans new smoking bans
DAILY NEWS PhotoThe Health Ministry is planning to introduce new measures and limitations on the use of tobacco in public places in Turkey, daily newspaper Sabah reported on Jan. 30.
Smoking is already banned in enclosed areas such as restaurants, cafes, bars and shopping malls, but a number of measures are planned on tobacco use as part of the National Tobacco Control Program 2015-2018.
The new measures include a ban on smoking at the entrances of shopping malls and cinemas, as well as plans to regulate the packaging of tobacco products. The ministry will work on banning covers that conceal the warnings printed on tobacco products.
The sale of tobacco products will also see new limitations. The sale of tobacco products to people younger than 18 years old is already prohibited in Turkey, but the new measures will require all people to show identification cards when purchasing tobacco products, in order to more strictly prevent the sale of tobacco to underage individuals. The sale of unpackaged, single cigarettes will also be prohibited, while taxes on tobacco products will be rearranged.
The Health Ministry also plans to develop its services to help people quit smoking by using call centers, text messages, e-mails and other web applications as resources. Businesses will be encouraged to support their employees who want to quit smoking.
Meanwhile, the government is also planning to give incentives to tobacco producers, and farmers who decide to quit growing tobacco will be offered alternatives to produce.
In 1997, smoking was banned in public buildings, airplanes and public buses in Turkey. This was followed in 2008 with a ban in all indoor spaces, including bars, cafés and restaurants. The government then moved to extend the ban to outdoor spaces, such as areas outside bars and restaurants and in front of shopping malls, including parks.