The law on tobacco control has come into force today meaning that smoking in public places such as bars, restaurants and offices is forbidden.
In case of a violation, the owner of the venue will be charged 500 GEL; if the violation is repeated, the fine will be doubled.
Moreover, if a person smokes in the entrance, corridor, staircase, roof, loft or other parts of a multi-dwelling apartment building, the fine will be GEL 50, repeated action will cost the offender GEL 100. Fines for smoking on public transport will be GEL 500 and GEL 1000 respectively.
The Georgian Parliament adopted changes to the country’s tobacco-control legislation last year. The amendments also ban any form of advertising of tobacco products.
Research conducted by UNDP and WHO last year shows that approximately 11,000 citizens of Georgia die prematurely every year from diseases caused by tobacco, and among those are approximately 3,000 non-smokers.
Moreover, tobacco addiction costs the Georgian economy roughly 2 percent of its GDP per year while the effective implementation of the tobacco control legislation will aim to save the country approximately GEL 27 million per year (assuming a reduction of 2 percent in smoking prevalence per year).