Cigarette price hikes to decrease the number of smokers within 15 years

TBILISI(BPI)- 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 notes.

“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.

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