Turkey ratifies tobacco treaty

The Turkish government last Thursday became the 38th to ratify the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the international treaty which is aimed at restricting tobacco advertising of tobacco. The convention will come into force three months after it is ratified by the 40th country. Countries which have ratified the treaty are legally bound by its clauses which include an undertaking to ban all tobacco advertising and sponsorship. The treaty members are also bound to enforce the treaty.

It is worth noting at the same time that the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has just become the first country in the world to ban the sale of tobacco products. The National Assembly passed a resolution in July to bring about a total ban on tobacco sales across the country and the government will enforce the ban from December 17. It will be illegal to buy tobacco, sell it or smoke anywhere in public. Individuals will be allowed to bring tobacco into the country for personal consumption, but only after paying 100% tax on the cost price.

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