New Tobacco Control legislation in Georgia came into force on 30 May

On 17 May 2017 The Parliament of Georgia adopted in the third hearing a new national tobacco control law, signed by the President of Georgia on May 30, 2017.

The new legislation introduces a comprehensive smoking ban in enclosed public spaces, workplaces and public transport, an extensive ban on the display of tobacco products at point of sale and standardised packaging.

Provisions include:

  • Comprehensive ban on direct and indirect advertising, sponsorship and promotion of tobacco products, their accessories and devices for consumption (including e-cigarettes). The provision will enter into force on 1 September 2018.
  • Movies and other creative production materials containing smoking incidents will be considered as negatively influential to minors. Their display will be limited accordingly and accompanied warning messages.
  • Total ban on smoking (including e-cigarettes and Hookah) in enclosed public spaces, workplaces with some exceptions and public transport. The provision will be enforced force as of 1 May 2018. As of 2020 the ban will be extended to cover also stadiums and hotels with exemptions for private houses, penitential system, licensed casinos, designated smoking places in transit areas of airports and smoking of cigars is licensed bars. Special smoking places may be arranged in psychiatric or palliative clinics.
  • Ban on the display of tobacco products, their accessories and devices for consumption, which is visible from outside of the point of sale. The provision will be enforced on 1 September 2018. As of 2021 a ban on display of tobacco products inside the point of sale will furthermore be in place.
  • Obligatory health warning covering 65% of the surface of both large sides tobacco packages including pictorial warnings. Warnings should cover 30% of non-smoking tobacco packages and e-cigarettes packages should contain information leaflets.
  • As of 1 January 2018 all tobacco products, except e-cigarettes, should be in standardized packaging.
  • Sale of tobacco products and their accessories is banned in schools and kindergardens and within a 50 m radius of their grounds. Retail of tobacco through internet, post, mechanical machines or automats is furthermore banned.
  • Government relations with the tobacco industry will be conducted only in special cases regulated by a government decree and all relations should be transparent.
  • The government is allowed to ban the use of flavouring substances in tobacco products.
  • The law establishes norms for emissions and establishes that information about ingredients must be provided of each tobacco product.
  • Administration procedures in case of violation of the present law are simplified and the fines have been increased.
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