Smoking Restrictions: Where to Smoke & Where Not to from May

From May 1, 2018, new regulations regarding smoking, adopted in 2017 by Parliament, will come in to effect.

Smoking of tobacco, including electronic cigarettes, will be prohibited in all enclosed areas, with the exception of houses, psychiatric clinics, penitentiary facilities and casinos. Smoking will only be permitted in designated areas in the airports.

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

Furthermore, smoking will not be allowed in any kind of public transport, with the exceptions being taxis and motor boats.

Smoking will also be prohibited in gas stations and gas distribution stations, as well as in buildings and facilities located in their respective territories where flammable substances are kept.

Smoking in stadiums will not be prohibited until 2020. Also, until the same year, smoking in more than 20% of hotel rooms will also be allowed.

In case of violation of the rules, the institution will be fined by 500 GEL, and in case of repetitive violations - by 1000 GEL.

The fine for individuals is 100 GEL. In case a person smokes in an area of a multi-story house, which is classed as one property, he/she will be fined 50 GEL; and in case of repetitive violations - by 100 GEL.

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

However, if an individual person smokes on land public transport, the violator will be fined by 100 GEL.

As for the violation of rules in air or rail transport, the violator will be fined by 50 GEL, which will be doubled in case of repeat violation.

The person fined is allowed to appeal to the court if he/she does not agree with the penalty sanctions.

At present, around 1.5 million Georgians out of total 3,718,200 people are active smokers, and 15% of these are underage.

Thea Morrison

26 February 2018 18:16