Turkish Health Minister Recep Akdağ said Thursday that the government is taking measures to extend the scope of the space covered by the legal smoking ban, while also noting the success of the anti-smoking campaign.
Akdağ said that restaurants, pastry shops, and similar businesses are currently building auxiliary places which are covered on all sides, with one open-air surface, and allow smoking in such places.
Referring to the current regulations in force which ban smoking in confined spaces, Akdağ said the government intends to broaden the regulations in order to consider any area which has a covered top and cover on at least one of the corner sides, as a confined space.
The Turkish Health Minister also said they plan on regulating the marketing of cigarettes in shops as well.
''Shops will store cigarette packs in closed boxes, in a way which will make them unable to be spotted from outside. Cigarette packs will not show off brands anymore, and packs will bear health warning notices on all sides,'' Akdağ added.
He also noted that the anti-smoking campaign has so far been successful in Turkey.
''Thanks to the anti-tobacco efforts, smoking rates have decreased from 31 percent to 26 percent; however, the rate of smokers among the youth has unfortunately increased,'' Akdağ said.
Under the current regulation in Turkey, in addition to confined spaces, smoking is banned in all open spaces used by children, walking trails, and areas with sports equipment.
The ban also covers the first five meters of the entrance gates of airports, bus stations, shopping centers, cinemas, theaters, health institutions.