Tobacco taxation and illicit trade in Georgia as an emerging economy
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Georgian National Center of Disease Control and Public Health
Publication date: 2019-03-26
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2019;5(Supplement):A78
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Tobacco legislation in Georgia has been in force since 2003, before the actual adoption of the FCTC and later acceding to it as one of the member state. Since 2003, tobacco control policy and taxation of tobacco products has gone through the tough times, depended mainly on the political will of the government officials and financial interests of the state and special groups beyond the state. It was only in 2013,i.e. the adoption of the Tobacco Control Strategy and Action Plan, as well as the creation of the State Committee on strengthening tobacco control measures, with the NCDC, as its secretariat. Taxation on tobacco products, as a single most effective measure of tobacco control and FCTC has been in place since 2013-2014 and since then each year the tax on tobacco products in Georgia has been increasing gradually, however it is considered that Georgia is on the first place in the region with the most accessible prices on tobacco products. The second biggest challenge is the lack or sometimes an absence of the effective control and monitoring mechanisms of tobacco products, which leads to the cases of illicit trade with tobacco products. In this regards the decisions of COP8 is of utmost importance and Georgia is on its path to strengthen mechanisms of monitoring and research, as well as surveillance mechanisms for the tobacco products placed in market. This problem is even more critical in the light of developing marketing strategies of BIG Tobacco in regards to the novel tobacco products and their popularization among youth.
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