What Does Smoking Ban on Social Media Mean?

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The Motion Foreseeing Amendments to Some Laws and Statutory Decrees on Health has been adopted by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) Health, Family, Labor and Social Affairs Commission.

With the approval of this motion, it will be prohibited to use tobacco products and to show their images in television programs, films, TV series, music videos, advertisements and trailers, works screened in cinema and theaters as well as on the Internet and social media open to the public.

Şeker: A photograph with a cigarette might lead to fines

The article in the recently adopted motion which foresees a prohibition on the use of tobacco products and the display of their images on social media has caused controversy.

We have asked Ali Şeker, who is a member of the Health, Family, Labor and Social Affairs Commission of the parliament and an MP of the Republican People's Party (CHP), about the controversial article of the motion.

To the question, "Will we, as ordinary social media users, face fines or penalties when we post a photograph or a video on social media with a cigarette in it", Ali Şeker has answered: "Yes."

Stating that what is in question is a highly wide-scale prohibition, Şeker has stated that we could face fines even when we post something on social media on the Internet and added:

"However, within this framework, it is highly difficult to enforce this ban. It is a law which is highly difficult to enforce."

Other rules and prohibitions

In the event that the motion is adopted as a law, it will also be prohibited to sell tobacco products in places which provide services of healthcare, education, culture and sports as well as university campuses.

The motion also foresees that the warnings and messages to be placed on the packages of tobacco products and shisha bottles will cover 85 percent of the package instead of 65 percent.

With this motion, while the writings and images on the packages will have to be identical, the tobacco products produced in Turkey or imported from abroad will also have identically designed, plain and standard packages.

The motion also foresees that the ones who do not comply with this legislation will face an administrative fine of 5 thousand to 20 thousand Turkish Lira to be imposed by local civilian authorities. (EKN/SD)


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