Turkey became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on March 31, 2005.
Smoke Free Places
Smoking is prohibited in most indoor workplaces and public places. There are a few exceptions where ventilated designated smoking areas are allowed, including care facilities for the elderly, psychiatric hospitals, prisons, and hotel rooms. Smoking is also restricted in certain outdoor areas where cultural, artistic, sports, or entertainment activities are held.
Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
There is a near comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. A few aspects of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship are heavily regulated, but not completely banned. For example, point-of-sale product display is allowed, but it may not be seen from the outside or accessed by minors. There are some restrictions on tobacco sponsorship and the publicity of such sponsorship.
Tobacco Packaging and Labeling
Smoked tobacco products must display rotating combined health warnings, which includes a full-color picture, text, and quitline information, occupying no less than 85 percent of the front and 100 percent of the back surface areas. There are no smokeless products currently licensed for sale in Turkey. Misleading packaging and labeling, including terms such as “light” and “low tar” is prohibited. Plain packaging is required at the manufacturer level as of December 5, 2019 and at the retailer level as of January 5, 2020.
Cigarette Contents and Disclosures
The law regulates specified contents of cigarettes, including banning characterizing flavors, ingredients that facilitate nicotine uptake, ingredients that may create an impression of health benefits, and ingredients associated with energy and vitality. The law requires that manufacturers and importers disclose to government authorities information on the contents and emissions of their products.
The law prohibits the sale of single cigarettes and small packs of cigarettes. In addition, the law prohibits the sale of tobacco products via the internet, from vending machines, and from educational, healthcare, cultural, or sports facilities. The sale of tobacco products is prohibited to persons under the age of 18.
Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation
The Law on Prevention and Control of Hazards of Tobacco Products, Law No. 4207 (as amended), is the primary law governing tobacco control. Law No. 5727 of 2008 substantially amended Law No. 4207 and regulates, among other things, prohibitions on public smoking; tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; packaging and labeling of tobacco products; education campaigns; and penalties for violations. Law No. 4207 has been amended several times, most recently by Law No. 7151 of November 15, 2018.
Numerous regulations, circulars, and other administrative guidance have been issued pursuant to Law No. 4207, setting out specific requirements on implementation. Specifically, the 2019 Regulation on the Procedures and Principles Related to the Production Methods, Labeling and Surveillance of Tobacco Products was issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to implement emissions and reporting requirements, plain packaging, and updated health warnings requirements. This Regulation was amended in June 2019 to delay the implementation date of plain packaging, in addition to other amendments, and again in June 2021 to require health warnings covering 85 percent of the front and 100 percent of the back of packaging.
With regard to smoke free places, Circular 2009/13 (which repealed the previous Circular 2008/6) sets forth specifications for designated smoking areas in places where such areas are permitted by law. The Tobacco & Alcohol Market Coordination Committee’s Decision No. 4201 specifies the content and form of signs required by law. The Ministry of Health has also published several administrative letters that instruct provincial and municipal officials on their enforcement obligations under the law.
This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff in consultation with in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts.