With the recent amendments dated December 12, 2018 to the Law no. 4207 on Prevention and Control of Hazards of Tobacco Products, Turkey starts applying plain packaging for cigarette and tobacco products.The plain packaging limits and prohibits the use of trademark logos and tempting colors on tobacco packages; and it only allows the use of standardized word marks on them.
The rationale of the referred amendments is to reduce the consumption of tobacco and related products in an aim to protect the public health by standardizing the packaging and eliminating the tempting features of the marks and packages.
According to the new rules:
The new rules took effect starting from December 05, 2018. The tobacco products which have been produced in Turkey or imported through Turkey before December 05, 2018 should become compatible with the said regulations above in seven months. The procedure and rules for plain and standardized packages will be governed by means of a regulation to be enacted by the Ministry of Agriculture.
With this new Law, important changes have been made in the tobacco market. The prohibition of the use /display of tobacco products or their images in social media platforms is problematic as the line between commercial use and personal use is quite narrow when it comes to influencers. Also adding to the worldwide discussions about plain packaging, the new regulations have also been strongly criticized in Turkey being touched the essence of the right to property, namely the IP rights.