Turkey to add pictorial health warnings to cigarette packages

Nov 23, 2009

Turkey will add visual health warning messages to cigarette packages produced as of Jan. 1, 2010, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported Sunday.

Chairman Mehmet Kucuk of the Turkish Tobacco and Alcohol Market Regulation Board (TAPDK) told the agency that cigarette packages produced before Dec. 31, 2009 which only have written warning signs can be sold till June 30, 2010.

There will be no cigarette packages without visual warning messages in Turkey as of Jan. 1, 2011, Kucuk said.

There will be 14 pictures, which will be chosen from 42 sample pictures in the European Union’s system, on tobacco product packages to draw people’s attention to the harm of cigarettes, the chairman was quoted of saying.

Visual warning on cigarette packages is used in countries including Britain, Belgium, Romania, Brazil, Thailand and Singapore, the agency said.

A smoking ban came into effect across Turkey on July 19, extending an earlier prohibition on smoking to all public indoor areas including cafes, bars and restaurants.

Under the new rule, it is also illegal to advertise and promote tobacco products or the names and brands of tobacco producers, while TV channels and radios have to air at least 90 minutes of programs on the harmful effects of tobacco products every month.

Source: Xinhua (November 22, 2009)