World Bulletin/News Desk
New amendments were passed to the Law on the Prevention and Control of Hazards of Tobacco Products, Law No. 4207, by Parliament on July 4. According to one amendment, brand stretching, which refers to the application of cigarette brand names, logos or other distinctive elements of cigarette brands and their ads to nontobacco products, was prohibited. Any name, logo or product associated with any cigarette brand can no longer be used on clothes, perfume bottles, alcoholic beverage bottles or coffee packages. The methods of implementation for this legislation will be determined by the Tobacco and Alcohol Market Regulatory Agency (TAPDK) in three months' time, after receiving the opinion of the Health Ministry
Another change included in the law is that picture-based health warnings will obligatorily be placed on nargile (water pipe) bottles. These warnings have to be placed on both sides of the nargile bottles, and the warnings should cover 65 percent of surface of the nargile bottle under the new legislation. Turkey is the first country in the world to adopt legislation against nargile smoking. A similar practice has been in force since May 1, 2010, when the regulation requiring picture-based health warnings on cigarette packages came into effect.
A further change included in the law is that no tobacco products will no longer be sold to children under the age of 18. Children below this age will also not be permitted to buy any kind of tobacco-free herbal cigarettes, herbal nargile or electronic cigarettes with the new legislation.
According to the new law any text, picture, logo, figure or color that may attract the attention of consumers will be removed from cigarette packaging across the country. The cigarette packages will be made plain in order not to encourage smoking amongst the public. Turkey is the second country in the world to switch to plain packaging, after Australia.
Municipal police will now be able to impose penalties on people who violate the smoking ban, which has been in effect since 2009.
A law banning smoking in all public venues, including all educational, health, commercial, social, cultural, sports and entertainment facilities and their corridors, went into full effect on July 19, 2009. The ban calls for a TL 69 fine for those who smoke in a prohibited area and a fine of up to TL 5,600 for operators who allow it to happen.
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