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Turkey Increases Free Radio and Television Time for Anti-Tobacco Advertising
Date : 31 August 2012

Since 1996, Turkey has mandated that radio and television stations provide a minimum of 90 minutes of free air time every month for anti-tobacco educational programming and advertising. However, television channels generally showed these advertisements very early in the morning or late at night, and thus few people were exposed to their anti-tobacco messages. 2003, the head of the Turkish parliamentarian health commission began drafting new tobacco control legislation. A provision was included to mandate broadcasts of anti-tobacco educational programming during daytime and early evening hours (8:00–22:00) so that messaging would reach increased numbers of adults and also be more likely to reach children.

A further provision of the law requires that a minimum of 30 minutes per month be aired during evening prime time hours (17:00–22:00), which are the most heavily viewed programming slots. Although there have been some enforcement problems due to the large number of television and radio channels in Turkey, the free air time is now being used for pre-tested effective anti-tobacco advertising. Other countries are currently examining the Turkish tobacco control legislation using the mandatory free air time requirements as a model for drafting national tobacco control legislation.


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