Tobacco control in Georgia – key achievements and challenges
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National Center for Disease Control and Public Health, Tbilisi, Georgia
Publication date: 2018-06-13
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2018;4(Supplement):A115
Georgia has one of the highest smoking prevalence among the European countries; cigarette smoking alone kills 8000 to 11 000 (22% of all death cases) people per year. In 2013 in order to address the devastating health and economic burden of the growing tobacco epidemic, the Government of Georgia created the State Tobacco Control Committee chaired by the Prime Minister. National Tobacco Control National Strategy and 5 year Action Plan which is in line with the WHO FCTC and with the standards of the European Union were approved by the Government of Georgia. On May 30, 2017 the amendments to the Tobacco Control bills have been adopted by the Parliament of Georgia. Important issues of tobacco control new regulations are: from May 2018 ban of smoking in all public transport and buildings, ban of all forms of advertisement, sponsorship and promotion of tobacco, its accessories and devices for its use, including ban of display at points of sales and restriction of demonstration of smoking in movies and massive performances; from September 2018increasing size of health warnings to 65% and obligatory pictorial warnings on front side of the packages of smoking tobacco, etc. The National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC) is implementing the State Program on Health Promotion, the largest component of which is tobacco control, including media campaign, training of Quitline staff and PHC providers, monitoring of enforcement of smoke-free legislation in public premises, developing a tobacco cessation mobile application and school educational materials. Despite the efforts of strives of the Georgian Government to combat the wide-spread tobacco epidemics in the country, tobacco industry interference in law implementation remains a big challenge.