Moral & Partners Tobacco Sector Working Group lawyers provide advisory services, dispute resolution services and regulatory compliance services to its international sector player corporate companies by taking into account of the precisely and carefully analyzed structure of the sector as well as the socio-political sensitivities, which are almost as significant as legal regulations. In addition, we provide detailed updates to our clients, with the sector reports and memoranda which we regularly publish with respect to amendments in the legislation.

The journey of the tobacco plant from the field to the consumers begins with the planting and harvesting of the plant, and continues with its transformation into industrial tobacco products at large complexes, and the last link in the chain is the delivery of the tobacco products to the consumers through the sales channels.

Such journey of the tobacco plant involves many actors with an influence on the market conditions such as farmers-villagers, tobacco companies, retailers, national and international organizations, the State and the consumers, and such actors have complex and sensitive balance between them, in the regulatory sense.

In respect of Turkey, which is currently the top 10 cigarette producer countries in the world, tobacco is an indispensable agricultural product due to its added value to the economy, and transnational companies play a significant role in the tobacco market pursuant to a series of regulations which have been implemented, particularly as of 1984.

From the point of view of the protection of public health, the necessity of the establishment of public control over the production and trade of tobacco products is perceived, and stringent regulations are introduced on tobacco and tobacco products, through the constantly updated and amended regulations.

Legal Regulations Changing the Dynamics of the Tobacco Sector in Turkey

The banning of smoking in indoor public places in 2008 and in restaurants, cafés, cafeterias, pubs and similar places in 2009 is one of the most significant legal regulations which changed in the dynamics of the tobacco sector in Turkey. The scope of the bans was expanded with the banning of smoking while driving in 2013 and the prohibition of use and display of tobacco products on TV, cinemas, theatres, internet and social media for commercial and advertising purposes.

Since 2020, various regulations and legal obligations concerning the tobacco sector, some of which are listed below, were introduced:
  • The practice of sale of cigarettes in uniform packages and in closed cabinets was introduced, and the cigarette packages were updated to cover the warning messages and the photographs determined by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
  • The import of e-cigarettes and components as well as heated tobacco products was officially banned with the Presidential Decree.
  • Those who sell, offer for sale, keep or transport macarons or rolling cigarette paper filled with shredded or cut tobacco or any material other than tobacco are now subject to criminal penalties.
  • The sale of flavoured cigarettes and tobacco products, including menthol was banned.
  • Lastly, within the scope of Covid-19 measures, the Ministry of Interior announced the ban on smoking on avenues and streets in 81 cities of Turkey.

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