Global Epidemic

Turkey

Consumption

  • 27 percent of Turks (age 15+) smoke tobacco.
  • 41.5 percent of males and 13.1 percent of females smoke.
  • Among youth (age 13-15), 7 percent currently smoke cigarettes and 3 percent of youth currently use tobacco products other than cigarettes.
  • Nargile smoking, or waterpipe smoking — the most traditional form of smoking tobacco in Turkey — is increasing in popularity.

Health Consequences

  • More than 84,000 Turks die each year from tobacco-related diseases.
  • Among youth (age 13-15), 86 percent are exposed to secondhand smoke in public places and 82 percent are exposed to secondhand smoke at home.

Tobacco Industry

International tobacco companies dominate the market, holding over 92 percent of the cigarette market share in Turkey. In 2008, Philip Morris International led with 40 percent of market share, followed by British American Tobacco (35 percent), Japan Tobacco (14 percent), and Imperial Tobacco (3 percent). In Turkey, more than 107 billion cigarettes were sold in 2008.

FCTC Status

Turkey ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on December 31, 2004.

Tobacco Control Policy Status

Smoke Free Places: Turkey has a national ban on smoking in all indoor workplaces and public places. There are a few exceptions to the comprehensive ban where ventilated designated smoking areas are allowed, including care facilities for the elderly, psychiatric hospitals, prisons, and hotel rooms. Smoking is also restricted in certain outdoor areas where cultural, artistic, sports, or entertainment activities are held. It is not clear whether sub-national jurisdictions may impose more stringent regulations.

Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship: Turkey has a near comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. A few aspects of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship are heavily regulated, but not completely banned. For example, point-of-sale advertising is allowed, but it may not be seen from the outside or accessed by minors. Additionally, internet sales are prohibited, except by authorized dealers. Publicity of tobacco sponsorship is restricted; however, the financial contribution or in-kind support itself is not prohibited.

Tobacco Packaging and Labeling: Smoked tobacco products must have a composite warning, which includes both full-color pictorial warnings and texts, occupying no less than 65 percent of the surface area. The tobacco industry challenged the initial regulation which required that pictorial warnings cover 65 percent of the surface area. However, the court has not resolved the case and TAPDK, the issuing agency, has since issued additional regulations reiterating the 65 percent rule. Currently, a text-only warning covering 43 percent also appears on the back of smoked tobacco packages. Smokeless tobacco products warnings must cover 30 percent of the front of the package.

Tobacco Taxation and Prices: The World Health Organization recommends raising tobacco excise taxes so that they account for at least 70 percent of retail prices. Tobacco excise taxes in Turkey are below these recommendations.

Updated: April 2014