Tobacco Control Alliance Calls for Smoking Ban in Casinos

Following on from the regulations adopted prohibiting smoking in all enclosed buildings and public spaces, with some exceptions, on May 1, the Tobacco Control Alliance (TAC) has addressed the Parliament of Georgia with a legislative proposal for prohibition of cigarettes in casinos and cigars in cigar bars.

The legislative proposal registered by the Alliance states that the exceptional norms of the Law on Tobacco Control significantly damage the process of the law implementation in the country.

“After the smoking ban took effect in nearly all buildings from May 1, the rights of people employed in casinos and cigar bars are still being grossly violated. In comparison with other employees, they work in unequal conditions, in tobacco smoke, which harms their lives and health,” TAC stated.

It added that the exceptional norms promote gambling and the opening of new casinos and cigar bars.

TAC says that since May 1, not even a single casino or bar has addressed the Ministry of Finance to obtain the special license necessary for continuing or starting work.

Since May 1, the smoking of tobacco, including electronic cigarettes and Hookah, is prohibited in all enclosed areas, with the exception of houses, psychiatric clinics, penitentiary facilities and casinos. Smoking is only permitted in designated areas in airports.

Smoking of cigars is only allowed in cigar-bars where food products are not sold. In addition, a special license is necessary to open such a bar.

Smoking is not allowed in any kind of public transport, with the exception of taxis and motor boats.

Institutions will be fined GEL 500 for violation of the rules, in case of repeated violation by GEL 1000, while offenders will be charged GEL 50, and in case of repeated violation, the fine will be doubled.

Smoking in air, sea or land public transport also carries a penalty. The driver of the transport will be fined 500 GEL, and if repeated, this will be doubled.

However, if an individual person smokes on land public transport, the violator will be fined 100 GEL. As for the violation of rules in air or rail transport, the violator will be fined 50 GEL, which will be doubled in case of a repeat violation.

The statistics say that 57% of men in Georgia are active smokers, while every year the number of smoker women is doubled. Every fourth underage in Georgia is said to be a tobacco consumer.

By Thea Morrison

04 June 2018 19:01