Georgia implements new smoking regulations
As of 1 May smoking in public places will officially be banned in Georgia, with only a few places where smoking will be permitted. The rules regarding the sale of tobacco products will also be amended.
Georgia’s parliament passed the relevant amendments to the Law on Tobacco Control on 17 May 2017.
Guguli Maghradze, an MP from the parliamentary majority group, initiated the aforesaid amendments.
Where will smoking be prohibited?
Smoking will be banned completely in the following places:
- Educational and child care institutions, including enclosed sports facilities;
- Medical and pharmaceutical institution buildings;
- Petrol and gas stations including all surrounding areas, as well as gas distribution facilities;
- Buildings and facilities where flammable or combustible substances are stored;
- Cafés, bars, restaurants and other food outlets;
- Hotels (smoking has already been banned in 50% of hotel rooms as of 1 January 2018);
- Beauty parlors;
- Trading facility buildings;
- Private offices;
- Plants, factories, workshops and warehouses;
- All types of public transport, including buses, taxis, airplanes, ships, subways, trams and trolleybuses;
- Stadiums that have administration offices (an exception will be made for stadiums: smoking will be allowed in 50% of the stadium area, but only under the condition that smokers be isolated from non-smokers).
Penalties for smoking violations
Smoking in an enclosed public building and facility, or its surrounding areas, will be subject to a fine of GEL 500. The fine will be double for repeated offences.
Smoking at the entrance, on the roof or in the elevator of a high-rise building will be punishable by a fine of GEL 50. The fine will be double for repeated offences.
An institution that has violated the aforesaid rules will be fined GEL 500. The fine will be double for repeated offences.
A public transport driver will be fined GEL 500 for smoking. The fine will be double for repeated offences.
A member of the public smoking on public transport will be fined GEL 50. The fine will be double for repeated offences.
Where will smoking be allowed?
- In private residences;
- In penitentiaries;
- Tobacco smoke study lab facilities;
- Pre-trial detention facilities;
- Cigar-bars and certain institutions set up in accordance with special permits issued under the Law of Georgia on Licenses and Permits;
- In casinos;
- In the transit zone of an airport and specially arranged smoking rooms equipped with separate ventilation systems where it is prohibited to take and consume food and water.
- In-patient psychiatric and palliative care facilities and in special places designated for some beneficiaries or patients with serious illnesses.
Displaying images that contain cigarettes will also be illegal
It will be illegal to depict tobacco smoking in the mass media and other print or digital media, as well as in public shows and theatre performances unless it is an accidental recording and/or a part of creative intention.
It will be prohibited to give away or do a prize drawing for tobacco products, tobacco accessories and/or devices for using tobacco through a lottery, gambling or games of chance and/or to participate in such events using tobacco products or any part thereof.
Cigarettes will not be allowed in shop windows or counters, neither inside nor outside retail facilities.
Places where the sale of tobacco products will be permitted shall in no way be allowed to advertise them in storefronts or counters. There will be large posters with statutorily approved health warnings, as well as phone numbers for expert consultation for those wanting to quit smoking.