The Parliament of Georgia will
soon start discussing a draft law on higher taxation on loose tobacco.
The business representatives say that the constant
increase in excise taxes and prices for tobacco products, has already caused
600 million damage to the budget and boosts smuggling. As the statistics show, the
consumption of legal cigarettes has decreased, but the number of smokers has not
reduced and high prices did not promote
healthy lifestyle, as the ruling party hoped.
According to the head of the
parliamentary health committee Akaki Zoidze, the rise in cigarette prices will definitely
decrease the number of smokers but,gradually, within 15 years.
“Today we can say that the
smoking epidemic in Georgia has already been suspended that is a great
achievement along with other measures to
minimize the health damage of cigarette smoking such as a ban on smoking in public places,” the MP
“Of course, insignificant
smuggling is observed but this is a
question of administration. So far smuggling has not taken a scale to threaten fiscal administration and
budget execution. The Ministry of Finance takes measures to keep contraband to
a minimum, ” Akaki Zoidze stresses.