The Georgian Parliament has adopted changes to the country’s tobacco-control legislation.
The amendments were approved at its third reading with 85 votes in favour and one against yesterday.
The changes will come into force stage by stage during and after 2018.
Under the amendments, from January of 2018 a complete ban on smoking in all indoor public places (excluding casinos, cigar bars, prisons and pretrial detention centres) will be imposed.
From the same date it will be mandatory for cigarettes to be packaged in a simple manner and have photos of tobacco-caused diseases on it.
From May of 2018 the advertising of tobacco products will be prohibited.
From the same date it will become mandatory to air anti-tobacco ads before showing movies that feature smoking scenes.
From September of 2018 shops will be banned from placing cigarettes in a showcase.
International experts praised the amendments and said they are "a significant step forward in saving lives, growing the economy and further integrating the country with the European Union”.