Georgia is joining forces with other countries in the world to create the right policy for tobacco taxation and to reduce tobacco consumption.
On this topic a special session was held yesterday in the United States within the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
The Session highlighted that higher taxes on tobacco products reduce tobacco consumption and improve public health, while also increasing government revenues that can be used to fund priority investments and programs that benefit the entire population.
Georgia’s Finance Minister Dimitry Kumsishvili also participated in the event and delivered his speech. In his speech he talked about Georgia’s experience and achievements in terms of taxation of the tobacco products.
Georgia’s Finance Minister Dimitry Kumsishvili talked about Georgia’s experience and achievements in terms of taxation of the tobacco products. Photo by Georgia's Finance Ministry.
Also, he shared the Government of Georgia’s vision about reducing the tobacco consumption in every segment of the society and especially in young generation.
Excise tax on tobacco has been growing in Georgia since 2013 and in the last four years it has grown five times. As a result, the number of smokers decreased by 25 percent while the budget taxes increased by 150 percent,” said Kumsishvili.
He also mentioned new tobacco-control legislation in Georgia that was adopted this May and which 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.