Considering plain packs

| February 12, 2018

The Turkish government is considering introducing standardized packaging for tobacco products, according to a story in The Hurriyet Daily News quoting the Health Minister Ahmet Demircan.

Demircan did not elaborate but said that details of the planned measures would be unveiled in coming days.

“Cigarette packages should not be easily accessible and they should not make smoking appealing,” he said.

“Packages should not serve as advertisement materials. We have to take necessary measures to prevent this.”

More than 26 million people are said to have called the ‘172 helpline to quit smoking’ that was launched by the Health Ministry in 2010 and some 70 percent of those people stopped smoking, according to the minister.

But in November 2017 he said that while the proportion of tobacco users aged 15 and above had dropped to 26.8 percent in 2012, the rate had increased to 32.5 percent in 2014.

The latest proposed measures follow on from the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) long-standing anti-smoking crusade, which began with a smoking ban in enclosed public places in 2009.

“You don’t have freedom to commit suicide, so you don’t have freedom to expose yourselves to terminal diseases …,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is known for his strong anti-smoking views, said in 2016.

“There can be no such freedom as the freedom to smoke … The state must protect its citizens against tobacco, alcohol and drugs, just as it is obliged to protect them against crimes like theft and terrorism.”

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Category: Breaking News, Packaging, People, Regulation

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