E-cigarette Sales in Turkey: an Import Ban DilemmaArvin Peh
According to Turkish media, despite the ban on e-cigarette imports, various websites still sell them, raising concerns.
According to Turkish news outlet Sondakika, on July 5th, Murat Emir, the Deputy Director of the Turkish Health Protection Center, stated that although the import of e-cigarettes is banned in the country, they are still being sold on various websites. Emir has also submitted a written question to the Turkish Grand National Assembly, demanding that the Ministry of Commerce provide a response.
Murat Emir asked why e-cigarettes are tolerated for open sale on shopping websites despite being strictly prohibited from entering the country by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Commerce. Additionally, he questioned why advertisements and customs clearance for e-cigarettes are permitted on several dozen websites.
Murat Emir states that Turkey has banned the import and sale of e-cigarettes starting from 2020, as well as all necessary materials, which must be openly sold on shopping websites. The only preventive measures taken by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Commerce are publishing advertisements and notices, in which they believe can solve this problem. However, with e-cigarette products now readily available, it is evident that they have not conducted any inspections nor taken any responsibility.
Murat Emir believes that relevant authorities should take necessary measures, particularly banning advertisements on the internet that promote the health benefits of e-cigarettes. Additionally, selling locations should be identified and deterrent penalties should be enforced.
Murat Emir also presented the following questions to the Ministry of Trade:
How do e-cigarette products that are prohibited from importation and sale clear customs? In 2022, what inspections were conducted for the importation of e-cigarettes? Did the inspection results result in sanctions against e-commerce companies? If so, which company was fined and how much?