Smoking in Turkey

Data shows that about 20% percent of the world population are smokers, which is a big percentage when we considered the number of the world population. In that case, the smoking policies of a country that you will visit can be an interest to some, as nicotine addiction demands continuous supply.

Of course, non-smokers also could want to learn about the smoking policies, as they would be influenced as much as those who are smoking. In other words, smoking policies effects non-smokers as well since they will be the ones who are breathing the smoke as someone smokes a cigarette next to them.

Smoking Laws in Turkey 

As in most of the countries of the world, Turkey has some regulations about smoking that are under the protection of the law. Because smoking is a behavior that is both seriously unhealthy and can disturb the other people around the smoker, there had to be some regulations. The regulations are not designed in a way that nobody can smoke a cigarette, but in a way that both minimize the advertising of cigarettes and the discomfort, it creates to other people.

Indoors and Smoking

Smoking in indoor public areas is banned in Turkey by law, and there is a penalty for those who do not follow this rule. The indoors that one cannot smoke in Turkey includes the inside part of cafes, governmental buildings, schools, shopping centers, etc. Yet, most of the places have separate areas for smoking, such as terraces or balconies. If there is no area separated for smoking, people basically get out of that place to smoke outdoors and come back.

In addition to those places, keep in mind that you cannot smoke in some hotels in Turkey. If you are a smoker and want to smoke in your room, do not forget to check your room details in terms of smoking. Like in other places I mentioned earlier, some hotel rooms have a terrace or a balcony where you can smoke.

The indoors where smoking is banned including public transportation as well. It is highly unlikely to happen yet not impossible to see a bus driver smoking. You can always warn the driver as soon as possible, and if they are not listening to you, you can report them. 

Advertising Rules about Tobacco and Smoking

Any form of advertising cigarettes or other tobacco products are banned in Turkey, to minimize the effect of media when it comes to smoking addiction. Smoking behavior is not encouraged in Turkey, and the ban on advertisement further supports this attitude. 

Even though the advertisement is strictly banned in television, social media, or billboards, etc. there can be some product display can be made in the tobacco shops, in the spots where not everyone can see them.

Packaging and Labeling of Tobacco Products

Since packaging and labeling of products greatly influence the purchasing behavior of the buyers, there are some regulations about the packaging and labeling of tobacco products in Turkey as well. Packaging of cigarettes made in a way that is so far away from being liked. Instead, the cigarette packaging of cigarettes in Turkey is designed in a way that would discourage people to buy them. You can see a picture of a pair of lungs damaged by smoking, an individual on life support, a baby born with a disease due to the smoking behavior in pregnancy, and so on. 

In addition to the disturbing images on the packaging, there are some sentences on the packages as well. The sentences include sayings like smoking kills, smoking seriously damages your health, smoking is the main reason for sudden heart attacks, and so on. 

Another thing in the packaging of cigarettes that are banned in Turkey is the words can have an influence on people’s thought processes. Most people are aware of the fact that smoking is a bad behavior, and continuing to smoke is a behavior that leads to cognitive dissonance. One of the ways to cope with cognitive dissonance is to convince oneself that the behavior “is not that bad”. So, the labels in the packaging such as “light” or “low tar” are banned in Turkey due to this reason, to not help people to cope with their cognitive dissonance.

Age Limit

Teen years are perhaps the section of our life that we are most prone to accept peer pressure, and smoking behavior typically arises in teenage years. So, it is forbidden in Turkey to sell people who are not of full age (which is 18 in Turkey) cigarettes or any kind of tobacco. It is the seller’s responsibility to look for the customers’ ID cards to check if they are under 18 or not. 

This policy is taken very seriously in the big grocery stores or supermarket chains, but unfortunately, it can be overlooked sometimes in small shops or tobacco shops. 

Water Pipe Cafes

Water pipe, or hookah, is the name of the instrument for smoking tobacco (typically flavored), and it is a widely used instrument in Turkey. Insomuch that, you can see lots of cafes dedicated to water pipes in Turkey. The concept of those cafes is basically serving water pipes to people. Those cafes are generally designed in a way that indoors and outdoors are mixed so that you can smoke water pipes.

Sometimes it is known that cannabis is smoked through a water pipe instead of tobacco. Since cannabis is not legal to smoke in Turkey, all water pipe cafes only include tobacco in their water pipes. The water pipe is not legal for people who are not on or above the age of 18. However, water pipes are seen as “more innocent” than cigarettes for some reason, and lots of water cafes are not following this rule about 18 and above only.

Is it legal to smoke things other than tobacco in Turkey?

Smoking tobacco is a very common thing to do in Turkey, but when it comes to smoking other stuff such as cannabis or marijuana, the situation changes completely. Smoking other things rather than tobacco are illegal in Turkey, and you can get in great trouble if you ever get caught while smoking other things. So, keep in mind to stick to tobacco if you have to smoke something.

Cigarette Prices in Turkey

Cigarettes are considered as expensive in Turkey when considered in the Turkish lira. Of course, the situation can change according to other currencies. The following are the cigarette prices brand by brand and their prices in dollars as of March 2021. Keep in mind that a package of cigarettes typically includes 20 cigarettes in them.

  1. Marlboro: 18 TRY / 2.40 USD
  2. Marlboro Touch: 17 TRY / 2.26 USD
  3. Marlboro Edge: 16 TRY / 2.13 USD
  4. Parliament: 18.50 TRY / 2.46 USD 
  5. Parliament Midnight Blue: 17.50 TRY / 2.33 USD
  6. Chesterfield: 14.50 TRY / 1.93 USD
  7. Chesterfield Mode: 14 TRY / 1.86 USD
  8. L&M: 14 TRY / 1.86 USD
  9. Kent: 15 TRY / 2 USD
  10. Kent D-Range: 15 TRY / 2 USD
  11. Rothmans: 14 TRY / 1.86 USD
  12. Viceroy: 14.50 TRY / 1.93 USD

Frequently asked questions about smoking in Turkey

Smoking can be a big issue while you are traveling, even if you are a smoker or not. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about smoking in Turkey.

How old should I be to buy cigarettes in Turkey?

You must be 18 or above to buy cigarettes in Turkey.

Is cannabis legal in Turkey?

No, smoking cannabis by any means is not legal in Turkey.

Are the cigarette prices high in Turkey?

Cigarette prices change between 1.5 to 3 USD in Turkey.

Is smoking allowed indoors in Turkey?

Smoking indoors in public places is not allowed in Turkey.

İsmail Çamönü

Hi! I am Ismail. I am a digital nomad from Turkey. I lived in many cities around Turkey during my life and I am passionate about traveling. At Nomad's Guide to Turkey, I share travel tips for nomads, expats, and tourists who would like to visit Turkey.

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