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Smoking Restrictions Take Effect in Georgia

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, May 2
Tobacco regulations have entered into force on May 1st in Georgia, according to which, smoking is prohibited in public areas and all kinds of buildings except houses, psychiatric clinics, penitentiary facilities and casinos.

Smoking of cigars is only allowed in cigar-bars where no food products are served.

Moreover, smoking ban applies to electronic cigarettes and Hookah as well.

Smoking is permitted in the airports but only in designated areas. As for public transport, smoking is restricted there, but taxis and open boats are exceptions.

Legal entities, which violate the ban and let people smoke in closed buildings, will be fined GEL 500 and if repeated, the fine will be doubled.

As for ordinary citizens, in case of violations, they will face GEL 50 fine but if repeated, they will be fined 100 GEL.

Smoking in public transport will be fined 100 GEL.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) is in charge of revealing violations and charging people.

Minister Giorgi Gakharia says the law will reduce the number of smokers in the country, adding consolidation of the whole society is necessary to improve the situation in Georgia in this regard.

“Patrol Police officers have been tasked to monitor tobacco consumption and we will duly fulfill our duties. However, I want to ask our society to help us fight smoking because it is our problem,” he stated.

Davit Sergeenko, Georgia’s Minister of Labor, Health and Social Affairs says studies prove that smoking restriction reduces tobacco consumption.

“The studies revealed that these important regulations will save lives of thousands of our citizens. I call on everyone to observe the rules and not to violate the law.

“However, this law cannot ensure the problem will be completely solved. It is important that each citizen reacted to every violation they see. All violators will be held responsible before the law,” Sergeenko stated.

Opposition United National Movement (UNM) member, Roman Gotsiridze, stated he supported the law, when it was voted in parliament in 2017.

“Georgia is one of the leading countries in Europe in terms of smoking…We should do our best to solve this problem. This law needs maximum support from the whole population,” he added.