From Sunday, 19 July, people in Turkey will no longer be able to smoke in restaurants, cafés and bars. This is an additional ban to the previous ban on certain closed spaces that is already in place.
As for throwing cigarette stubs, packets, filters or similar waste onto the ground, the market police (zabita) is entitled to charge the offender 25 TL.
The Ministry of Health has set up a hotline, 184, for people to notify it of violations of the ban. In addition, there will be "Smokefree Air" contact centres in each province, a list of which has been published by the ministry.
Fines for individuals and businesses
A person found to be smoking in a closed space will be fined 69 TL. In public services buildings or public transport, the civil servant responsible is authorised to hand out fines. In privately-run public transport, the first police or gendarmerie officer reached can hand out the punishment, and the same is true in private buildings.
Businesses that do not enforce the ban can be handed fines between 560 and 5,600 TL by municipal councils or the district or province adminstration. If the business is a public one, civil servants may be investigated by a disciplinary committee.
Businesses and institutions that do not hang up warnings about the ban on tobacco consumption can be handed a fine of 1,120 TL by the district or province administration.
No more advertising
The new legislation also foresees a ban of advertising, promotion and sponsorship for tobacco products and their companies. Violations of this ban can lead to penalties ranging from 56,000 to 280,000 TL.
People producing, distributing or selling products that look like or call into mind tobacoo products, such as chewing gum, sweets, nuts, toys, clothing, accessories, etc., can be fined between 22,400 and 112,000 TL.
Individuals wearing clothes or accessories that carry the names or logos of tobacco products or their companies can be fined 69 TL.
TV and radio
TV channels and radio stations are obliged to produce at least 90 minutes per month of programmes educating or warning the public about the dangers of tobacco products or other unhealthy habits.
At least 30 minutes of these must be between 5 and 10 pm, and generally between 8 am and 10 pm.
Those media institutions not following this guideline may be punished by the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK).
TV stations showing the use of tobacco products in programmes, films, series, music clips or advertisements will also be penalised and can be complained about to RTÜK.
Anyone selling cigarettes at sites that provide health, education, culture or sports services will be fined 1,120 TL.
Selling tobacco products to children or offering them to children for consumption can lead to prison sentences from 6 months to one year.
Employing children in the production, marketing or sale of tobacco products will also be penalised by the district or province administration.
The ban also forbids the sale of tobacco products in automats, on TV or via the Internet.
From now on, it will also be illegal to sell cigarettes singly or divided into smaller packages. (TK/AG)
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