2017 Cigarette Imports Up Slightly from 2016

Georgia Imported 101.9 million USD worth of cigarettes in 2017, according to the National Statistics Office of Georgia (Geostat). 8.8 billion individual cigarettes were imported to Georgia in 2017.

The figure is up 240,000 units from 2016 (101.6 million USD), but down 11% compared to 2014 (114.9 million USD).

2017 also saw an uptick in imports of cigars and cigarillos. Cigar imports increased 39% from 2016, a value of 651,000 USD.

In other cigarette-related news, Akaki Zoidze, Chairman of the Parliamentary Healthcare Committee, told Georgia’s First Channel that smoking may be allowed in courtyards of medical and educational institutions. Zoidze explained that anti-smoking regulations, in place since May 1 of this year, caused conflict in some cases that have encouraged lawmakers considering amending the law.

As reported by Caucasus Business Week, the Young Financiers and Businessmen Association (AFBA) welcomes discussions to be held by the Parliamentary Committee on Health Care and Social Affairs, which will consider amendments to the Law on Tobacco.

A legislative proposal presented by Levan Nikoladze, a partner at LPA Law Firm, argues that exceptions to the smoking ban should be made in closed premises, specifically casinos and cigarette bars. The committee also considers amendments to smoking bans in particular areas such as public organizations, clinics, higher education institutions and other facilities. If the exception for cigar bars and casinos is abolished, AFBA argued, it would have negative consequences for the private sector.

AFBA calls on the Healthcare and Social Committee to introduce amendments to the Law on Tobacco and to consider the amendments they initially offered, reducing smoking restrictions to the private sector and small businesses.


By Samantha Guthrie

19 July 2018 12:19