Turkey steps up campaign

    Turkey is to require that tobacco products are sold in standardized packaging from next year, according to a Daily Sabah story.
    A law mandating such packaging came into force yesterday.
    Under the law, starting in 2019, cigarettes and other tobacco products must be sold in standardized packaging with large health warnings and the brand name shown on only one face.
    The law bans the use or promotion of tobacco products on television, in television series, films, music videos, films screened in cinemas or during theater performances, on social media and other Internet venues.
    The sale of tobacco products in facilities where health and education services are offered, such as universities, is banned also.
    Turkey already banned smoking in indoor public places, including restaurants, bars, cafés and similar establishments, and in outdoor places, including stadiums, mosque courtyards and hospitals.
    It has imposed higher taxes on cigarettes and provided free medicine and ‘treatment’ for smokers.
    However, the authorities have some way to go to meet their target of stamping out smoking.
    The incidence of smoking in the country fell from 32.5 percent in 2014 to 31.6 percent in 2016, the last year for which data is available.
    Last summer, the government introduced its 2018-2023 action plan for tobacco control that includes shorter shifts for non-smoking employees and increasing the legal age for buying tobacco products from 18 to 21.
    Further, the Daily Sabah story said that companies were to be encouraged to hire non-smoking personnel and that those with non-smoking employees were to be offered tax reductions.