The Law Amending Certain Laws and Decree Laws on Health ("Law") was published in the Official Gazette and entered into force on 5 December 2018. The Law amends certain provisions of the Law on the Prevention and Control of Harm caused by Tobacco Products, reflecting the current policy of the government, namely the "fight against addictions", to prevent and minimise the consumption of tobacco products.
The provisions regarding the production and consumption of tobacco products may be summarised as follows;
- The usage and display of tobacco products in TV shows, movies, series, music videos, trailers and commercial films, cinematographic and theatrical works or on the internet, on social media or similar platforms, which are open to the public, with commercial or marketing purposes is prohibited.
- Sale of tobacco products is strictly prohibited in places where health, education, culture and sports services are provided.
- Tobacco products, which are produced in Turkey or imported to Turkey, must be put on the market in a standardised package format introduced by the Law, including the shape, type and size of the trademark, its position on the package, the colour of the packages, other writing, wording and shapes.
- The trademark may be printed only on one surface of the package and it may not be bigger than five percent (5%) of the package's surface area. The trademark logo, icon or other symbols cannot be printed on the other surfaces other than the five percent (5%) of the packages already referred to. This rule applies also to the packaging of stacks of tobacco products, e.g. cartons, which contains more than one package.
- Additionally, warning texts stating the harm caused by tobacco products must be placed in the Turkish language on each of the two largest surfaces of tobacco product packages produced in Turkey or imported to Turkey. These texts must cover not less than eighty-five percent (85%) of the surface area of the packages. These warning texts must also be placed on stacks of tobacco products, e.g. cartons. Tobacco products not containing such warning texts may not be imported or put onto the market.
- The Law dictates that tobacco products produced in Turkey or imported into Turkey must conform with the relevant provisions of the Law within seven (7) months. This period may be extended by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry for an additional period of up to six (6) months.
It is becoming more and more difficult for tobacco product producers to market their brands and products in the Turkish market, bearing in mind the restrictions that already exist on advertisements. The market players are likely to explore alternative marketing and advertising venues and options in order to be able to display their presence in the Turkish market.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.