Turkey - graphic/written warning labels starting January 1, 2010..

November 23, 2009 - On Sunday, July 19, 2009 Turkey became the seventh country in Europe to ban smoking in all enclosed public places.

Now to continue to enhance their leadership role in tobacco control Turkey will start warning smokers with both written and pictorial cautions on cigarette packages starting January 1, 2010.

The chairman of the Turkish Tobacco & Alcohol Market Regulation Board (TAPDK), Mehmet Küçük, said on Sunday that the board would start warning smokers with both written statements and pictures as of Jan. 1, 2010. “In addition to the current written warnings, there will be 14 pictures on cigarette and other tobacco product packages,” Küçük told the Anatolia news agency. Küçük said the board would try to draw attention to the harms of cigarettes with this method.

There are 180 different types of cigarette packages in Turkey. All these packages will be changed to include the new visual warning system.

Tobacco companies will switch over to the new packaging at designated intervals. Cigarette packages produced through Dec. 31, which include only written warnings, can be put on the market through June 30, 2010. Both visual and written warnings must cover 65 percent of the cigarette packages, according to the new regulations. One year after the switch, by Jan. 1, 2011, every cigarette package on shelves in Turkey must have the pictorial warning.

Visual warning on cigarette packages is a system already in place in countries including the UK, Belgium, Romania, Brazil, Thailand and Singapore. The European Union has 42 sample pictures for visual warnings on tobacco products. Turkey will choose 14 of these pictures for domestic use. Research indicates that visual warnings are effective in 20 percent of cases of people who want to quit smoking.
(EU - planning a new study aimed at developing better graphic images...

Turkey banned smoking in workplaces and malls in May 2008. It gave restaurants, bars and cafés extra time to comply with the new smoking ban. The expanded smoking ban went into effect across Turkey on June 19. Under it, it is illegal to smoke in coffeehouses, cafeterias, pubs, clubs, restaurants and taxis, and advertising or promoting tobacco products or the names and brands of tobacco-producing companies is prohibited, as well.

Reference: Cigarette packages to feature graphic images, Today's Zaman, 11/23/2009.

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