Georgia to ban sale of unpackaged, looseleaf tobacco
In Georgia, the sale of bulk tobacco, as well as liquids for electronic cigarettes, will be banned.
The relevant changes to the tax code will enter into force on November 21, 2019.
It will be forbidden to sell and deliver any unpackaged bulk tobacco – for pipes, cigarettes or hookahs.
Tobacco can only be sold in packaged form, in packages of net weight of 50 or 100 grams.
Tobacco must have an excise stamp, and the package must contain a warning about its health hazards.
For violators, a fine of two thousand lari [about $700] will be applicable. For a repeated violation, the fine is doubled.
• Since May 1, 2018, smoking in public places has been completely prohibited in Georgia.
• Since the excise tax on tobacco products (with and without filters) has gradually risen in price since January 2017, cigarettes have become almost two and a half times more expensive. On average, a pack of filter cigarettes in Georgia costs four to six lari [about $1.3-2].
• Due to the sharp increase in the price of cigarettes, many Georgians have begun to smoke hand-rolled cigarettes.
• The government says it is fighting smoking with high excise taxes.