Assessing tobacco marketing regulation implementation level in Georgia: evidence from Non Communicable Disease Risk Factors STEPS Survey Georgia 2016
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National Center for Disease Control and Public Health, Georgia
Georgian Respiratory Association, Georgia
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A721
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Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable deaths worldwide; the biggest burden of it falls on low- and middle-income countries and this trend is expected to widen further in case of inaction. The overall objective of the study is to describe and analyze the findings of the Noncommunicable Disease Risk Factors STEPS Survey Georgia 2016 related to tobacco marketing regulation.

The current study in Georgia was a population-based STEPS survey of randomly selected adults aged 18-69 within each sex and 10-year age-group. A multi-stage cluster sample design was used to produce representative data for that age range in Georgia. A total of 5554 adults participated in the current survey. We assessed level o tobacco marketing regulation implementation in Georgia.

Study results reported high prevalence of tobacco use in Georgian population (31.1% (95 % CI: 29.0-33.1)). Study findings showed that about half of the current smokers are exposed to anti-tobacco information on TV or radio 52.3% (95% CI: 48.9 - 55.7), whereas 35.5% (95% CI: 32.2 - 38.8) reported being exposed to cigarette marketing at points of sales of tobacco products and 4.7% (95% CI: 3.2-6.1) to any cigarette promotions. Health warnings on cigarette packs was reported to be noticed by 88.7% (95% CI: 85.8-91.6)) of current smokers; only 33% (95% CI: 25.4 - 40.7) of them reported having thought about quitting because of these warnings.

The prevalence of smoking in Georgia is high compared to other countries of the European Region and it is very likely that smoking related NCDs burden will increase. Stricter tobacco control policies coupled with anti-tobacco media campaigns can address this problem. Improved health warnings on tobacco packages and total ban of tobacco advertisement, promotion and sponsorship should be implemented in order to overcome prevailed tobacco industry marketing strategies.