ArticlePDF Available

Tobacco control policy development and progress in Georgia

Authors:
  • Georgian Health Promotion and Education Foundation
1
Journal of HealtH InequalItIes 2018 / Volume 4 / Issue 2, June
SPECIAL ARTICLE J Health Inequal 2018; 4 (2): 1–4
Submitted: 23.12.2018 , accepted: 02.01.2019
Tobacco control policy development and progress
in Georgia
George Bakhturidze
FCTC Implementation and Monitoing Center in Georgia, Tbilisi, Georgia
AbstrAct
Georgia is one of the countries with the highest smoking rates in the World Health Organization (WHO)
European Region. e STEPS survey conducted in 2016 by the WHO demonstrated that 31% of adult
Georgians (57% of men and 12.2% of women) use some kind of tobacco product. Tobacco consumption
in Georgia causes 11,400 deaths annually, including at least 2,100 among non-smokers. is tobacco
epidemic costs the country 2.43% of its GDP every year.
Key words:
Address for correspondence: George Bakhturidze, FCTC Implementation and Monitoing Center in Georgia,
4, Vani St., 0119, Tbilisi, Georgia, e-mail: iayd@yahoo.com
DOI:
IntroductIon
Georgia’s National Tobacco Control Legislation was
updated in May 2017, with most regulations taking eect
on 1 May 2018. In general, smoking is now prohibited
in public places and public transport, with afew exemp-
tions. Bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and spon-
sorship are scheduled to take eect in 2021, and adisplay
ban and plain packaging requirement in 2023.
e Georgian Parliament created a special consul-
tative body for health promotion and prevention under
its healthcare committee in October 2017. Its aim is for
smoking prevalence in Georgia to decrease by 50% by
2030, and to become asmoke-free country by 2040. To
achieve these goals, Georgia needs to:
• enforce its new comprehensive smoke-free regulations
rigo rously,
• continuously increase tobacco taxes,
• strengthen current regulations, including on e-cigarettes
and novel tobacco products,
• promote full implementation of the Framework Con-
vention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and the European
Union (EU) Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) #40,
• join the FCTC’s Illicit Trade Protocol to prevent illegal
turnover of tobacco products,
• invest in sustainable tobacco control with appropriate
government funding.
smoKIng prevAlence And tobAcco
AvAIlAbIlIty
Tobacco use in the former Soviet republic of Geor-
gia has increased dramatically since 1990, mostly due to
the transition from astate to amarket economy and the
arrival of the transnational tobacco companies (TTCs).
Prevalence of tobacco use among men increased from
53.3% in 2001 to 59.8% in 2008, and among women from
6.3% to 14.9% in the same period [1, 2].
Currently, Georgia is one of the countries with the
highest smoking rates in the World Health Organization
(WHO) European Region. e STEPS survey conduct-
ed in 2016 by the World Health Organization showed
that 31% of adult Georgians (57% of men and 12.2%
of women) use some kind of tobacco product, which
exceeded both the average rate worldwide (23%) and in
Europe (29%). e survey also revealed that 25.3% of
adult smokers in Georgia had attempted to quit smoking
during the previous year [3].
e prevalence of smoking among adolescents was
alarmingly high in 2008, when it stood at 16% among
16-year-olds. In this cohort, 12% were regular smokers
and 1.1% consumed 20 or more cigarettes per day. Buy-
ing cigarettes was not aproblem for 60% of the adoles-
cents who participated in the study. Among them, 30%
had begun using tobacco products by the age of 14 and
2
George Bakhturidze
Journal of HealtH InequalItIes 2018 / Volume 4 / Issue 2, June
10% by the age of 10. Additionally, 87% of adolescents
said they had afriend who smoked [4, 5]. According to
the latest survey, conducted in 2014, as many as 12.3%
of teenagers aged 13 to 15 years used tobacco products,
including 16.5% of boys and 7.8% of girls [6].
In addition, the non-smoking population in Georgia
is exposed to second-hand smoke daily, including more
than 40% of children [4-7]. Finally, 77% of Georgians
can easily buy tobacco products at points of sale [6].
HeAltH burden And ImpAct of smoKIng
Tobacco consumption is the number one risk fac-
tor for lung cancer and other cancers, strokes, heart
attacks and other cardiovascular diseases such as chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is also asso-
ciated with infertility, congenital abnormalities, chronic
diseases, and other severe health problems [8]. e cost
of treating such diseases represents the direct economic
burden that tobacco poses, and is very high.
e global tobacco epidemic kills nearly 7 million
people each year, and over 890,000 non-smokers die
from exposure to second-hand smoke. Around 80% of
these people are residents of low- and middle-income
countries [9]. Tobacco consumption in Georgia causes
11,400 deaths annually, among them at least 2,100 non-
smokers [10].
Besides mortality, the indirect impact of tobacco use
is also signicant, including adecrease in productivity
and performance caused by tobacco-related diseases.
ese losses are both economic and social in character.
e tobacco epidemic costs Georgia 2.43% of its GDP
each year [10]. It also harms the environment, contribut-
ing to res and soil depletion [11, 12].
tobAcco tAxAtIon polIcy
Aer the collapse of the Soviet Union, Georgia’s gov-
ernment welcomed the tobacco industry by allowing them
to sell tobacco tax-free. Between 1991 and 1997 there was
no tax on either locally produced or imported cigarettes.
is situation changed in 1997 when imported cigarettes
were levied aspecic excise and customs tax of 0.25 GEL
(0.19 USD) and 0.19 GEL (0.15 USD) per pack of ltered
and non-ltered cigarettes, respectively [13]. Between
1998 and 2004 the tax rates remained stable, but their val-
ues were eroded by ination, which hovered around 5%
for most years, with apeak of 19% in 1999 [14].
In 2005, the tax more than doubled for imported
ltered cigarettes and more than tripled for domestic
ltered cigarettes. Tobacco companies had six months to
prepare for this increase, allowing them to pre-purchase
tax stamps with the lower 2004 value for release in 2005,
thus achieving tax savings [15]. is maneuver resulted
in an unexpected increase in tobacco tax revenue in the
second part of 2004 and disappointing revenue in 2005.
Tobacco excise tax revenue in 2005 was 72 million GEL,
about 4.4 million less than in 2004 [15].
e tobacco industry was able to manipulate the sto-
ry about the decline in tax revenue – which the industry
itself had caused – in order to persuade the government
to reduce the excise tax in 2006 ‘to decrease smuggling’.
is scheme was adevastating blow to Georgias tobacco
tax policy, and it took the country several years to restore
the 2005 rates.
In 2010, the excise tax on imported and local ciga-
rettes became equal. Periodic increases followed, begin-
ning in 2013 [16].
Georgia adopted amixed tobacco tax system in 2015
by adding an ad valorem component to the excise duty.
e base for calculating the ad valorem tax is the retail
prices set each year by order of the Ministry of Finance
[16]. Following the latest increase, in 2017, ltered ciga-
rettes now incur an excise tax of 1.70 GEL (0.7 USD) per
20 cigarettes, and non-ltered cigarettes incur an excise
tax of 0.60 GEL (0.25 USD), regardless of their origin.
Each pack is also levied a10% ad-valorem tax [16].
Excise taxes are levied on pipe/loose tobacco at
35 GEL (14.5 USD) per 1 kg. is translates to 0.50 GEL
(0.2 USD) per pack, using 0.7 g of tobacco per cigarette,
a rate lower than non-ltered cigarettes. Only about
2.5% of smokers in Georgia use roll-your-own tobacco
(ISSA 2016). All tobacco products are also subject to
18% VAT [16].
On August 1, 2017, Georgia began to tax e-cigarettes
(0.2 GEL, or 0.08 USD, per 1 mg of liquid) as well as
cartridge and IQOS devices (1.7 GEL, or 0.7 USD, per
piece) [16].
tobAcco control legIslAtIon
Georgia’s parliament adopted its rst tobacco con-
trol law in 2003. In December 2005 it ratied the WHO
Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC),
which came into force in the country on May 15, 2006.
Georgia modied its tobacco control law in 2008, but no
enforcement mechanisms were added [17, 18].
In 2013, the Georgian government adopted two
decrees laying out the main directions for tobacco con-
trol in the country. Decree № 196 on the Approval of
aTobacco Control National Strategy stipulated concrete,
measurable objectives, an action plan, as well as tobacco
tari and tax measures on tobacco products [19]. Subse-
quently, aNational Action Plan on Tobacco Control was
adopted for the purposes of implementing the National
Strategy [20].
e most recent legislative changes were made in
May 2017, and most regulations took eect on 1 May
2018. In general, current regulations 1) prohibit smoking
in public places and public transport with afew exemp-
tions, 2) completely ban tobacco advertising, promotion
and sponsorship, outdoor and indoor, as of 2021, 3) ban
tobacco product displays and mandate plain packaging,
as of 2023 [21].
3
Journal of HealtH InequalItIes 2018 / Volume 4 / Issue 2, June
Tobacco control policy development and progress in Georgia
publIc AttItudes towArds tobAcco
control meAsures
e majority of Georgians support the strengthen-
ing of tobacco control measures, including an increase
in tobacco taxation. A 2008 survey of public attitudes
towards the prohibition of tobacco promotion and
advertising in public areas, at workplaces, in restau-
rants, and in public transportation, revealed that public
support for such bans averaged 83%. e strongest sup-
port was found in the age group of 56-70 years, where
it reached 98.2%. Between 88.6% and 98.9% of the sur-
veyed non-smokers and ex-smokers supported the ban
of all types of tobacco advertising, as did 73-82% of reg-
ular smokers [22].
Similarly, asurvey published in 2012 demonstrated
that the level of public support for restrictions on the
tobacco trade (e.g. tobacco sales to minors, in individual
pieces, 50 m distance from schools, etc. and penalties for
non-compliance with tobacco control laws), is also high,
on average at 85.2% [23].
e most recent legal changes strengthening tobacco
control entered into force on 1 May 2018, and asurvey
conducted one month later showed that average public
support for the provisions stood at 85%, up from 79% in
2016 [24, 25].
eu-georgIA AssocIAtIon Agreement
In June 2013, the European Union (EU) and the
European Atomic Energy Community and their member
states on one side, and Georgia on the other, concluded
an Association Agreement, which includes aDeep and
Comprehensive Free Trade Area [26].
e Association Agreement, much of which took
eect in September 2014, set forth the framework for
cooperation between the parties on measures strength-
ening tobacco control, and the harmonization of their
laws in this eld. In particular, Article 283 reads:
e Parties shall develop their cooperation and harmo-
nise policies in counteracting and ghting fraud and smug-
gling of excisable products. is cooperation will include,
inter alia, the gradual approximation of excise rates on
tobacco products, as far as possible, taking into account
the constraints of the regional context, and in line with
the World Health Organisation Framework Convention
on Tobacco Control. To that end, the Parties will look to
strengthen their cooperation within the regional context.
Article 356 of the agreement reads as follows:
(c) prevention and control of non-communicable dis-
eases, mainly through the exchange of information and
best practices, promoting healthy lifestyles, physical activ-
ity, and addressing major health determinants, such as
nutrition, addiction to alcohol, drugs and tobacco;
(f) eective implementation of international health
agreements to which the Parties are party, in particular
the International Health Regulations and the Framework
Convention on Tobacco Control.
As to the latter, Georgia committed to submit within
one year from the Association Agreement’s eective date
an implementation plan and schedule, including consid-
eration of the country’s needs regarding the ght against
smuggling and protection of tax revenues.
Articles to be implemented within ve years of the
eective date of the agreement largely involve the ter-
minology and classication of tobacco products. ese
articles, for which an implementation plan and schedule
must be presented and agreed, determine the following:
• both types of excise duties shall be the same for all types
of cigarettes and represent at least 60% of the weight-
ed average retail sales price of cigarettes released for
consumption. at excise duty shall not be less than
90 EUR per 1, 000 cigarettes. e excise tax may or
may not include any customs fees and VAT;
• for cigars or cigarillos, excise duty shall be 5% of the
retail sales price or 12 EUR per 1,000 pieces or per
kilogram;
• from 1 January 2015, the excise duty on tobacco
intended for the rolling of cigarettes shall represent at
least 46% of the weighted average retail sales price, or
at least 54 EUR per kilogram. From January 1, 2018,
it shall be at least 48% of the retail sales price, or at
least 60 EUR per kilogram, and from 1 January 2020,
at least 50% of the retail sale price or at least 60 EUR
per kilogram;
• for other types of smoking tobaccos the excise duty
shall be 20% of the retail sales price, or 22 EUR per
kilogram.
Moreover, within three years of the agreement’s
eective date, Georgia shall implement Council Direc-
tive 2007/74/EC [27] of December 2007, On the Exemp-
tion from Value Added Tax and Excise Duty of Goods
Imported by Travellers from ird Countries [27].
e government of Georgia is implementing the
agenda and Association Agreement based on the Nation-
al Action Plan. In June 2014, Georgia and the EU agreed
on the terms of the association agenda, thereby setting
priorities for the implementation of their obligations
prescribed by the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade
Area (DCFTA) components and the EU-Georgia Asso-
ciation Agreement for the years 2014-2016. e coun-
try developed the National Action Plan for 2015 that
duly provided for the gradual increase of tobacco prod-
ucts excise rates, and their approximation to the rates
prescribed by EU standards (per Article 285), and the
implementation of the measures set forth in the National
Action Plan for 2013-2018 on tobacco control in Georgia
(per clause “f” of Article 356).
endgAme polIcy And recommendAtIons
In 2017, the Georgian parliament created a special
consultative body for health promotion and disease pre-
vention under its healthcare committee. e body aims
to halve tobacco consumption by 2030 and for Georgia
4
George Bakhturidze
Journal of HealtH InequalItIes 2018 / Volume 4 / Issue 2, June
to become a smoke-free country by 2040. In order to
achieve these goals, Georgia needs to eectively enforce
its smoke-free regulations, permanently increase taxes,
strengthen regulations on e-cigarettes and novel tobacco
products, and promote full implementation of the FCTC
and the EU Tobacco Products Directive. e country also
needs to join the FCTC’s Illicit Trade Protocol to prevent
illegal dealing in tobacco products. Proper investment in
tobacco control, with appropriate funding from the gov-
ernment, will be crucial in achieving these goals.
dIsclosure
e author reports no conict of interests.
References
1. Bakhturidze G, Ross H, What J, et al. Population survey on
tobacco economy and policy in Georgia. FCTC Implementation
and Monitoring Center in Georgia, Tbilisi 2008; 4-22.
2. Gilmore A, Pomerleau J, McKee M, et al. Prevalence of smoking
in 8 countries of the former Soviet Union: results from the living
conditions, lifestyles and health study. Am J Public Health 2004;
94: 2177-2187.
3. Sturua L. Non-communicable Diseases Risk-factors – STEPS
survey. National Centre for Diseases Control of Georgia, Tbilisi,
2017. Retrieved from: http://ncdc.ge/Handlers/GetFile.ashx-
?ID=993a23f3-d713-45ab-918a-eb53fe2b13f5.
4. Baramidze L. e Alcohol and Other Drug Use in Georgian
Students – ESPAD. Publishing-Advertising company – SAUN-
JE, Tbilisi 2009.
5. Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS), Georgia. 2008. Retrieved
from: https://nccd.cdc.gov/GTSS/rdPage.aspx?rdReport=OSH_
GTSS.ExploreByLocation&rdRequestForwarding=Form.
6. Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS), Georgia. 2014. Retrieved
from: https://nccd.cdc.gov/GTSS/rdPage.aspx?rdReport=OSH_
GTSS.ExploreByLocation&rdRequestForwarding=Form.
7. Berg C, Topuridze M, Maglakelidze N. Reactions to smoke-free
public policies and smoke-free home policies in the Republic of
Georgia: results from a 2014 national survey. Int J Public Health
2016; 61: 409-416.
8. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health
Promotion (US) Oce on Smoking and Health. e Health
Consequences of Smoking – 50 Years of Progress. A Report of
the Surgeon General. Centers for Disease Control and Preven-
tion (US), Atlanta 2014.
9. WHO. Report: Global Tobacco Epidemics, 2017: monitoring
tobacco use and prevention policies. 2017. Retrieved from:
http://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/255874.
10. Investment Case for Tobacco Control in Georgia. e case for
investing in WHO FCTC implementation in Georgia. UNDP,
WHO FCTC Secretariat, RTI International. 2018. Retrieved
from: http://www.ncdc.ge/Pages/User/News.aspx?ID=5aad-
a9ce-57aa-4ec5-9d81-915d43c388e9.
11. Shafey O, Eriksen M, Ross H, Mackay J. Tobacco Atlas, third
edition. American Cancer Society, Atlanta 2009.
12. Hall JR Jr. e Smoking-Material Fire Problem. USA Nation-
al Fire Protection Association. Quincy, MA, 2013.Retrieved
from: https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/News-and-Research/
Fire-statistics-and-reports/US-Fire-Problem/Fire-causes/
ossmoking.ashx?la=en.
13. Georgian Tax Code. Tbilisi, 1999. Retrieved from: https://
matsne.gov.ge/ka/document/view/31690?publication=86.
14. Ination on tobacco products. Letter from National Statistics
Oce of Georgia. Tbilisi, 2018.
15. Shalutashvili A, Ross H, Watt J, et al. Tobacco Economic Study
in Georgia since the fall of the Soviet Union. FCTC Implemen-
tation and Monitoring Center in Georgia, Tbilisi 2007.
16. Georgian Tax Code. Tbilisi, 2018. Retrieved from: https://
matsne.gov.ge/ka/document/view/1043717?publication=142.
17. Georgian Law on Tobacco Control. Tbilisi, 2008. https://matsne.
gov.ge/document/view/16126?publication=4.
18. WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. 2003.
Retrieved from: www.fctc.org.ge; https://treaties.un.org/pag-
es/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IX-4&chap-
ter=9&lang=en.
19. Georgian Tobacco Control National Strategy. Tbilisi, 2013. Retrieved
from: https://matsne.gov.ge/ka/document/view/ 1978972? publica-
tion=0.
20. Georgian National Action Plan on Tobacco Control 2013-2018.
Tbilisi, 2013. Retrieved from: https://matsne.gov.ge/ka/docu-
ment/view/2096830?publication=0.
21. Georgian Law on Tobacco Control. Tbilisi, 2017. Retrieved
from: https://matsne.gov.ge/document/view/1160150?publica-
tion=3.
22. Bakhturidze GD, Mittelmark MB, Aaro LE, Peikrishvili NT.
Attitudes towards smoking restrictions and tobacco advertise-
ment bans in Georgia. BMJ Open 2013; 3: e003461.
23. Bakhturidze GD, Peikrishvili NT, Mittelmark MB, Aaro LE. e
public’s attitudes towards tobacco sales prohibition: evidence
from a nationally representative survey in the former Soviet
state of Georgia. Tobacco Control and Public Health in Eastern
Europe 2012; 2: 99-108.
24. Study of attitudes toward tobacco use in public spaces. Institute
on Social Studies and Analyses, Tbilisi 2016. Retrieved from:
http://issa-georgia.com/en/non-entrepreneurial-non-commer-
cial-legal-entity/study-of-attitudes-toward-tobacco-use-in-
public-spaces-2016/10.
25. Public attitudes in Georgia. National Democratic Institute by
CRRC Georgia. Tbilisi, 2018. Retrieved from: https://www.
ndi.org/sites/default/les/NDI_June_2018_Presentation_Pub-
lic_ENG_vf.pdf.
26. Agreement between Georgia and EU on the Association
Agreement. Gov. of Georgia, European Union. Brussels,
2014. Retrieved from: https://matsne.gov.ge/ka/document/
view/2496959?publication=0.
27. Council Directive 2007/74/EC of 20 December 2007 on the
exemption from value added tax and excise duty of goods
imported by persons travelling from third countries. Available
from: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri= CEL-
EX: 32007L0074.
... The new tobacco control law introduced pictorial health warnings, banned smoking in almost all public places and severely limited tobacco advertising. 2 The 2019 tax reform equalised the specific excise tax rate on filtered and unfiltered cigarettes by increasing the unfiltered tax rate 2.8 times (from 60 tetri to 1.70 Georgian lari (GEL) per 20 cigarettes) and increased the ad valorem tax rate from 10% to 30% on filtered cigarettes. 3 While the impact of higher tobacco taxes on lowering tobacco use has been widely documented, 4 there is limited research on the effect of fiscal and non-fiscal policies on illicit tobacco trade. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background Georgian illicit cigarette consumption was 1.5% in 2017. In 2018, a new tobacco control law took effect followed by a substantial cigarette excise tax increase in 2019. Research shows these policies reduce tobacco consumption, but the tobacco industry argues they increase illicit trade. There is limited evidence on this, particularly from developing countries. Methods A panel household survey in Georgia obtained data over three waves: 2017 baseline, 2018 after the tobacco control law took effect and 2019 after taxes increased. A sample of 1578 smokers (and quitters in later waves) from five regions reported their tobacco use and were asked to present a cigarette pack in their possession. These were examined for tax stamps and health warnings to establish legality. Findings There was no evidence of an increase in illicit cigarette consumption in Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Akhaltsikhe or Gori in any wave. In Zugdidi, near the Russian-occupied Abkhazia, illicit cigarette consumption was increasing even prior to the tax increase, reaching 30.9% by wave 3. A country-wide shift occurred from manufactured cigarettes to roll-your-own tobacco (whose tax remained unchanged) between waves 2 and 3. Conclusion No evidence of a country-wide increase in illicit cigarette trade was found after non-fiscal tobacco measures took effect and cigarette taxes increased. Relatively high illicit cigarette consumption in Zugdidi highlights the role of disputed territories and border administration in illicit cigarette supply. Substitution towards roll-your-own tobacco after manufactured cigarette taxes increased demonstrates the importance of equalising taxes on tobacco products to maximise public health benefits.
... 140 Until 2005, excise duty rates on cigarettes remained virtually unchanged, and the decision to significantly increase them was made by the new Georgian government, which came to power in 2004. In 2005, the excise duty was more than doubled on imported filter cigarettes (up to GEL 0.9 per pack) and more than tripled on locally produced filter cigarettes (up to GEL 0.7) 142 . As a result, the share of this tax in the retail price of imported cigarettes increased from 36% to 54%, and in the price of local cigarettesfrom 25% to 43%. ...
Book
Full-text available
Irpin 2020 2 UDC 336.226.331-047.64 (477) LBC 65.9(4Ukr)261.411.1 This work covers the challenges of excise duty collection from tobacco products and nicotine-containing products, driven by the tobacco market development. It also studies the in-depth theoretical basis of excise taxation of heated tobacco products and e-cigarettes in the context of achieving fiscal and regulatory goals. It describes the types and general approaches to the classification of novel tobacco products and nicotine-containing products. This research determines the tendencies and features of excise duty collection from heated tobacco products and e-cigarettes in EU countries in terms of broader distribution of these products on national markets. It describes specific aspects of the tobacco products excise policy in Moldova and Georgia. It also analyzes the specifics of the transformation of domestic tobacco products market due to the high excise duty burden carried by these products. The work also proposes ways of improving excise taxation of heated tobacco products and e-cigarettes in Ukraine to pump up the budget and regulate the tobacco market development. The survey findings can be useful to the state agencies and a broad range of other stakeholders when developing proposals regarding the formation and implementation of the excise policy for tobacco products and alternatives. UDC 336.226.331-047.64 (477) LBC 65.9(4Ukr)261.411.1 T44 ISBN 978-617-7600-91-5
Article
Full-text available
This study aims to provide data on a public level of support for restricting smoking in public places and banning tobacco advertisements. A nationally representative multistage sampling design, with sampling strata defined by region (sampling quotas proportional to size) and substrata defined by urban/rural and mountainous/lowland settlement, within which census enumeration districts were randomly sampled, within which households were randomly sampled, within which a randomly selected respondent was interviewed. The country of Georgia, population 4.7 million, located in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. One household member aged between 13 and 70 was selected as interviewee. In households with more than one age-eligible person, selection was carried out at random. Of 1588 persons selected, 14 refused to participate and interviews were conducted with 915 women and 659 men. Respondents were interviewed about their level of agreement with eight possible smoking restrictions/bans, used to calculate a single dichotomous (agree/do not agree) opinion indicator. The level of agreement with restrictions was analysed in bivariate and multivariate analyses by age, gender, education, income and tobacco use status. Overall, 84.9% of respondents indicated support for smoking restrictions and tobacco advertisement bans. In all demographic segments, including tobacco users, the majority of respondents indicated agreement with restrictions, ranging from a low of 51% in the 13-25 age group to a high of 98% in the 56-70 age group. Logistic regression with all demographic variables entered showed that agreement with restrictions was higher with age, and was significantly higher among never smokers as compared to daily smokers. Georgian public opinion is normatively supportive of more stringent tobacco-control measures in the form of smoking restrictions and tobacco advertisement bans.
Article
Full-text available
BACKGROUND: In the Caucasus region country of Georgia, no data on public opinion regarding tobacco sales restrictions have been available until now. The aim of the study is to provide data from a nationally representative sample including nonsmokers, ex-smokers and current smokers, on their level of support for restricting tobacco sales. METHODS: 1,588 people aged 13-70 were interviewed at home about their level of agreement with eight possible tobacco sales restrictions, which were combined to create a dichotomous scale indicating low agreement (agree with none to three of eight restrictions) or high agreement (agree with four or more of eight restrictions). Levels of agreement were analyzed by demographic segments defined by age, gender, education and income and by tobacco use status. RESULTS: Across all eight forms of tobacco sales restrictions, the average support for tobacco sales restrictions was 85.2% which is a high level of support. Among smokers, 71% of women and 87% of men indicated a high level of agreement for restricted tobacco sales; among occasional smokers 54% and 55% respectively. Above 95% of female and male ex-smokers and never smokers expressed high level of agreement with sales restrictions. After adjustment for other predictors, agreement was significantly associated with age (more agreement with higher age) and smoking status (more agreement among never-smokers, less in current smokers), while there were no significant differences in agreement by gender, education, and income. DISCUSSION: It is of high importance for Georgia to fully implement the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, including strong sales restrictions, and there is good evidence of public support for doing so. CONCLUSION: The present findings indicate to Georgian public health authorities that the support for tightened tobacco sales restrictions is high. KEYWORDS: tobacco; tobacco control; tobacco control policy; public attitude; sales restriction; tobacco sales restriction; youth access; law; FCTC.
Article
Full-text available
We sought to provide comparative data on smoking habits in countries of the former Soviet Union. We conducted cross-sectional surveys in 8 former Soviet countries with representative national samples of the population 18 years or older. Smoking rates varied among men, from 43.3% to 65.3% among the countries examined. Results showed that smoking among women remains uncommon in Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, and Moldova (rates of 2.4%-6.3%). In Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Russia, rates were higher (9.3%-15.5%). Men start smoking at significantly younger ages than women, smoke more cigarettes per day, and are more likely to be nicotine dependent. Smoking rates among men in these countries have been high for some time and remain among the highest in the world. Smoking rates among women have increased from previous years and appear to reflect transnational tobacco company activity.
Article
Objectives: We examined receptivity to public smoke-free policies and smoke-free home status among adults in the Republic of Georgia. Methods: In Spring 2014, we conducted a national household survey of 1163 adults. Results: Our sample was on average 42.4 years old, 51.1 % male, and 43.2 % urban. Current smoking prevalence was 54.2 % in men and 6.5 % in women. Notably, 42.2 % reported daily secondhand smoke exposure (SHSe). Past week SHSe was 29.9 % in indoor public places and 33.0 % in outdoor public places. The majority reported no opposition to public smoke-free policies. Correlates of greater receptivity to public policies included being older, female, and a nonsmoker. Past week SHSe in homes was 54.2 %; 38.8 % reported daily SHSe at home. Only 14.3 % reported complete smoke-free home policies; 39.0 % had partial policies. The only correlate of allowing smoking in the home was being a smoker. Among smokers, correlates of allowing smoking in the home were being male and lower confidence in quitting. Conclusions: SHSe is prevalent in various settings in Georgia, requiring efforts to promote support for public smoke-free policies and implementation of personal policies.
Population survey on tobacco economy and policy in Georgia. FCTC Implementation and Monitoring Center
  • G Bakhturidze
  • H Ross
  • J What
Bakhturidze G, Ross H, What J, et al. Population survey on tobacco economy and policy in Georgia. FCTC Implementation and Monitoring Center in Georgia, Tbilisi 2008; 4-22.
Non-communicable Diseases Risk-factors -STEPS survey. National Centre for Diseases Control of Georgia
  • L Sturua
Sturua L. Non-communicable Diseases Risk-factors -STEPS survey. National Centre for Diseases Control of Georgia, Tbilisi, 2017. Retrieved from: http://ncdc.ge/Handlers/GetFile.ashx-?ID=993a23f3-d713-45ab-918a-eb53fe2b13f5.
The Alcohol and Other Drug Use in Georgian Students -ESPAD. Publishing-Advertising company -SAUN-JE
  • L Baramidze
Baramidze L. The Alcohol and Other Drug Use in Georgian Students -ESPAD. Publishing-Advertising company -SAUN-JE, Tbilisi 2009.
Global Tobacco Epidemics, 2017: monitoring tobacco use and prevention policies
  • Who Report
WHO. Report: Global Tobacco Epidemics, 2017: monitoring tobacco use and prevention policies. 2017. Retrieved from: http://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/255874.
The Smoking-Material Fire Problem. USA National Fire Protection Association
  • J R Hall
Hall JR Jr. The Smoking-Material Fire Problem. USA National Fire Protection Association. Quincy, MA, 2013.Retrieved from: https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/News-and-Research/ Fire-statistics-and-reports/US-Fire-Problem/Fire-causes/ ossmoking.ashx?la=en.