The messenger logo

Smoking to be banned

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, April 6
The Tobacco Control Alliance of Georgia says that Parliament has launched discussions over the amendments in the law on tobacco control, which envisages the prohibition of smoking in all types of buildings except residential houses and prisons.

The draft bill presented to Parliament also envisages the prohibition of advertising tobacco products, including displaying ads inside and outside shops. Its popularization and sponsorship will also be banned.

Also, a medical warning campaign about tobacco consumption risks will be increased from 30% from 65%.

Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Health Akaki Zoidze said the consumption of tobacco in buildings will be prohibited from 2018, and from 2020 smoking will also be banned at open public spaces, such as stadiums.

Zoidze explained that in case of smoking in buildings, the violator will be charged with a 500 GEL fine. In case of repeat violations, the fine will increase up to 2,000 GEL, and if the person systematically smokes in buildings, the fine will be 5,000 GEL.

The Tobacco Control Alliance hopes that Parliament will approve the bill.

Last month, representatives of the World health Organization (WHO) arrived in Georgia and presented statistics about tobacco consumption in Georgia.

The statistics say that Georgia in takes the second place in Europe. Eleven thousand people die of tobacco consumption every year in Georgia, and of these, three thousand people were passive smokers.

Moreover, around 1.5 million Georgians are active smokers, with 15 percent of them being underage.

Today, smoking is prohibited only in hospitals and schools, but 35% of the population remains smokers, including women and children.

Georgia has been an applicant country of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) since 2004, which means that the country has undertaken obligations to fulfill all the demands of the Convention.

The WHO FCTC is the first international treaty negotiated under the auspices of the WHO. It was adopted by the World Health Assembly on 21 May 2003 and entered into force on 27 February 2005. It has since become one of the most rapidly and widely embraced treaties in United Nations history.