CONFERENCE PROCEEDING
Economic impact evaluation of tobacco control legislation in Georgia
 
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1
Georgia Alliance for Tobacco Use Prevention, Tbilisi, Georgia
2
FCTC Implementation and Monitoring Center, Tbilisi, Georgia
Publication date: 2020-10-22
 
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2020;6(Supplement):A61
 
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ABSTRACT
Introduction:
The Parliament of Georgia adopted comprehensive amendments (prohibition of smoking in all public closed facilities with few exemptions, total ban of tobacco advertisement, promotion and sponsorship, increase health warnings up to 65% of package area including pictorials, introduction of plain packaging, etc.) to the National Tobacco Control Legislation in May 2017. Most of the amendments entered into force from 1 May 2018. During negotiations of new regulations, the tobacco industry and their supporters declared that those changes in the tobacco control law will seriously damage hospitality, trade, advertisement, and other related business sectors.

Objectives:
The objective of the study was to measure economic impact of new tobacco control regulations on hospitality, trade, advertisement, and other related businesses.

Methods:
Collection and analysis of official state statistical data, desk review of existing reports, articles, studies, documents, and regulations.

Results:
The compliance level of new tobacco control regulations is around 98% for smoke-free places in the hospitality sector, 90% for display ban in points-of-sales and nearly 100% for outdoor Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship (TAPS) ban. Public support for prohibition of smoking in public places was high before law endorsement (79% in 2016) and increased further after its enactment, reaching 85% as of June 2018.
The study results show that new regulations have no negative impact on the hospitality sector as a whole. There are increasing numbers of facilities, employees and turnover of food and beverage, as well as hotel industries. Similarly, no negative impact has been observed in wholesale and retail trade, as well as advertisement sectors, when comparing indicators for the period before and after introduction of new regulations. Controversially, there is a growth trend in the numbers of advertisement companies.

Conclusion:
The economic impact assessment reveals that there is substantial progress from the standpoint of implementation of the new regulations for tobacco control and there are sufficient grounds to conclude that its impact is positive.

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