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Zurab Japaridze: Artificial Regulations cannot Reduce Smoking Level

Zurab Japaridze: Artificial Regulations cannot Reduce Smoking Level

A bill of amendments to the law on Tobacco Use, proposed by MP Guguli Maghradze, member of the parliament’ committee for environment protection and natural resources, will be inefficient and we should not expect special results, Zurab Japaridze, one of the founders of Girchi new political center, noted.

We should not set useless restrictions, but we should intensify educational efforts for young generations in this direction, Japaridze noted.

“I believe similar regulations cannot bring any efficient results and their adoption will not reduce smoking level in the country. I do not expect serious effects from these regulations.

Serious changes should be carried out by growing public awareness and education. We should teach children and young people why narcotic drugs are harmful. This way will bring real results finally. I believe this is a correct way that we should follow, not introduction of artificial regulations. No regulations will be efficient”, Japaridze noted.

The mentioned regulations will make less effect on economy, because restrictions will not effect decision-making process of smokers and, consequently, sales will not decrease, he said.

“I do not expect these regulations to bring big effect in terms of economy. Nicotine users will continue doing the same. Therefore I do not expect all these plans to seriously affect the state budget. This issue has less connection with economic issues. It is more related to healthcare issues.

I repeat that this issue should be resolved by educational leverages, not by restrictions”, Japaridze said.

The bill on tobacco regulations calls for establishing various restrictions, including limitation of visibility of tobacco products at stores and supermarkets, prohibition of outdoor advertisements, full restriction of smoking at cafes and bars.

Moreover, the bill also calls for expanding the space of health warning indications on the tobacco products pack to 65% from 30%; prohibiting sales of tobacco products and its accessories to passengers sitting in vehicles.

A certain part of parliament members say that prior to adoption of similar amendments the legislators should comprehensively explore the issues and the Authorities should make focus on not establishing new restriction, but implementing efficient educational programs.