Since December 16, 2012 Ukrainians have been living with smoke free legislation: smoking is banned in all public and working places, including cafes, bars and restaurants.
The major result of this law is that Ukrainians smoke less since that time. According to State Statistics Department, the cigarette production in January – April 2013 consisted 91.2% of the same period in 2012. Sales of cigarettes in the period December 2012 – April 2013 decreased by 2.5 billion cigarettes, or 10% from the same period last year.
Tobacco companies also reported the reduction of tobacco consumption in this period. Thus, according to the first quarter report for 2013 “Phillip Morris International INC.” cigarette market of this transnational giant fell by 11.6% compared to Q1 2012. A year ago at the same period the tobacco market showed 5.6% growth.
Smoke free legislation also proved another axiom: restaurant business does not suffer from such regulations. “The restaurant consulting company recently published a report, showed that Ukrainian restaurant business hit a record of profitability during an average payback period. In addition, experts proved the growth of the domestic market; in particular, a great future awaits cafes and pubs, which over time have become more conceptual and qualitative. “- said Oleg Onykiyenko, Head of the Kyiv Association of Waiters.
According to State Statistical Department the whole hospitality sector demonstrated positive growth dynamics in comparison to other sectors of economics. Thus official employment level grew by 4, 5% and average salary rate grew by 14% during 1st quarter of 2013.
“During these six months no restaurant or bar in Ukraine said that they had to close their business due to smoking ban. In such a competitive business, a number of restaurants surely closed during this time”. – says Konstantin Krasovskii, Head of the Tobacco Control Department of the Ministry of Health.
State inspection of consumer rights protection emphasized the role of customers in protection their rights for smoke free air. “We actively respond to customers’ complaints and conduct inspections. In the city of Kyiv for the first 5 months of the law we tested about 50 institutions based on clients’ complains and we found 25 violations of the law. Totally over 15 thousands USD of fines were imposed on the restaurants”. – said the Head of State Consumer Protection Inspection in Kyiv Anton Klyatskyi.
“Ukrainians smoke less and therefore become healthier. This is the main result of the enacted law already in the first months. Of course, risk of passive smoking for Ukrainians, especially waiters and bartenders decreased and I think is the best investment in the whole health care system. Smoke free laws save lives! “- summed up Andrii Skipalskyi, coordinator of the national project “Smoke free Ukraine”, NGO “Life”.