NGO: Another Attempt to Pursue the Interests of the Tobacco Industry in Parliament Is Being Legislated
Parliament's decision on amendments to the Law on Tobacco Control calls the Alliance for Tobacco Control sad and shameful.
According to the draft amendments to the already existing norm of the law, which includes the sale of tobacco products in 50 and 100 grams packaging, 15 grams will be added.
The alliance explains that the proposed legislative change would have lower prices on tobacco and therefore increase access to it.
"This will significantly worsen already high rates of smoking in adolescents and hinder attempts to eliminate the problem of smoking in children.
However, the number of smokers in general will increase and new smokers are expected to emerge, so-called cheap tobacco consumers segment.
For some of the listed and other reasons that go against the tobacco control policy in Georgia, it will be necessary for a few months to remove the 15-gram tobacco law from the law. Just as it became necessary to equalize taxation on filtered and unfiltered tobacco products. The holes left in this direction in time and the delay in making changes have created many problems. It is, therefore, incomprehensible to support a new, absurdly motivated legislative amendment for parliamentary deliberations.
Why should we make this change to the Tobacco Control Act so that, before it is banned, someone temporarily makes money?
In addition to being vital to the community, the project is in contravention of the EU directive, which stipulates that the minimum amount of wrapping tobacco shall not be less than 30 grams. Due to the high level of smoking in Georgia, we consider it unacceptable that the minimum quantity of tobacco should be below 50 grams.
We hope that the majority in the parliament will have wisdom and will not vote for this draft at the deliberations, ”the alliance explained.