Georgia became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on May 15, 2006.
Smoke Free Places
The law prohibits smoking in "any buildings and other structures.” However, the law provides several exceptions, including, but not limited to, penitentiaries, cigar bars, casinos, transit zones of airports, pre-trial detention cells, and designated areas of inpatient psychiatric facilities and palliative care facilities. The law prohibits smoking in most public transport but allows smoking in taxis and on boats.
Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
The law prohibits most forms of advertising and promotion of tobacco products. However, the law permits product display at airports and in other shops so long as it cannot be seen from outside the point of sale. Beginning in January 2021, the law will prohibit the display of tobacco products inside shops as well, again with an exception provided for duty-free zones at airports. The law also permits reverse brand stretching. There are some restrictions on tobacco sponsorship and the publicity of such sponsorship.
Tobacco Packaging and Labeling
On smoked tobacco products, the law requires rotating pictorial health warnings to cover 65 percent of the front and rotating text-only health warnings to cover 65 percent of the back of the pack. On smokeless tobacco products, the law requires a text-only health warning to cover 30 percent of the front and back of the pack. Misleading packaging and labeling, including terms such as “light,” “mild,” and “low tar,” among others, is prohibited.
Cigarette Contents and Disclosures
The law grants the authority to regulate the contents of cigarettes; however, no subsequent regulations have been issued. The law requires that manufacturers and importers disclose to government authorities and the public information on the contents and emissions of their products.
The law prohibits the sale of tobacco products via vending machines, the internet, and in schools (and within 50 meters of schools), stadiums, healthcare facilities and cultural facilities. The law prohibits the sale of single cigarettes and packs in quantities other than 20 cigarettes. The sale of tobacco products is prohibited to persons under the age of 18.
The retail sale of e-cigarettes is allowed. The use of e-cigarettes is prohibited where smoking is prohibited. E-cigarette advertising is subject to the same restrictions as tobacco advertising. Health warnings are not required on the surface of the packaging, but an “information sheet” with health warnings is required to be placed in the package. Misleading packaging and labeling, including terms such as “light,” “mild,” and “low tar,” among others, is prohibited.
Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation
Law No. 4059-RS on Tobacco Control (as amended) is the primary law in Georgia regulating e-cigarettes and the production, distribution, and consumption of tobacco products. The law regulates smoking in public places, requires health warnings on tobacco packaging, and restricts some forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. Law No. 4059-RS has been amended several times, most recently by Law No. 5128-IS (October 16, 2018).
In addition to Law No. 4059-RS on Tobacco Control, tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship are regulated by Law No. 1228 on Advertising (as amended) and the Law on Broadcasting (as amended). Both laws were amended in 2017 to further regulate tobacco and e-cigarette advertising.
Packaging and labeling is further regulated by Decree No. 14 of January 15, 2018, which contains detailed requirements about the health warnings to appear on different types of tobacco products and e-cigarettes. Decree No. 14 also establishes maximum limits for cigarette emissions. Decree No. 01-20/N of May 1, 2018 regulates the disclosure to government authorities and the public about content and emission levels.
The Administrative Offenses Code (as amended) contains penalties for a wide variety of offenses, including, but not limited to, violations of tobacco control provisions.
This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff in consultation with in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts.