According to the Hurriyet last Tuesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan intends imposing an outdoor smoking ban later this year as part of his “war against the habit”.
This announcement was made by Mehmet Muezzinoglu, the Turkish Health Minister. It comes the day after Erdogan hosted a World Smoking Cessation Day reception at the Presidential Palace for 250 of his citizens that successfully quit the habit.
Turkeys teetotal President can’t abide smoking and goes out of his way to try and encourage those addicted to quit the filthy habit. He want’s to change the stereo-typical image of a chain smoking Turkey. According to the Daily Sabah Erdogan believes that “it is my personal principle to fight smoking like I do all harmful habits. The state has to protect its citizens against tobacco, alcohol and drugs, just like it is obliged to protect them against crimes from theft and terrorism”.
Many of the restrictions to be imposed are still unclear. Reports do however say that they are simply an extension of the current laws. This means that fines and penalties will be enforced for smoking outdoors in many of the places where the indoor rule applies. These are said to include outside shopping centres, public gardens and playgrounds. There is no specific mention on how this will apply to restaurants, bars, tea-houses or cafes with designated outdoor areas in either article. If this is to apply to them then this new policy could make a fair few businesses and their customers unhappy.
What are your thoughts? How to do think this will play out if the laws are really imposed? Please leave a comment and let us know.
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