Imperial Tobacco is against the total ban of smoking in public places


Imperial Tobacco Ukraine (ITU), one of the largest tobacco manufacturers and leading contributor to the state budget of almost 4 bn UAH annually, is addressing Parliament regarding the legislative initiative to totally ban smoking in public places (Draft Law # 9474). The company believes that total bans on smoking in public places and HoReCa are disproportionate and unnecessary for legal business.

Rather than completely infringing on the freedoms and rights of adult smokers, the better solution is the current Ukrainian legislation in this sphere. Already in Ukraine public places in hotels, restaurants and cafes are fairly separated by smoking and no-smoking areas.

We recognize that some non-smokers may find tobacco smoke unpleasant, which is why we strongly support the existing regulation that provides smoke free areas, whilst retaining elements of freedom and adult choice. Providing smoking areas or a simple availability of smoking and non-smoking venues suitably addresses non-smoker concerns whilst maintaining the freedom of choice of adult smokers to consume a legal product.

In addition to the infringement of consumer rights, smoking bans can negatively affect business.  In different countries, where total bans have been enacted the leisure and hospitality industries have witnessed a decline in employment of up to 16%. Some businesses have estimated a decrease in leisure and hospitality revenue of 20%, which can cost hundreds of thousands hrivnas in lost taxes.

Thus, total bans can be detrimental to the Ukrainian economy in terms of lost revenue and employment, a trend which is highly unwelcome during crisis times.

Yuri Kisko, Corporate Affairs, Imperial Tobacco Ukraine:

“There are 8,6 million adult smokers, who annually pay almost 20 billions hrivnas of additional taxation to the state budget  by making informed choice to legally purchase and consume tobacco products . We support their choice and are against any further restrictions of their rights and freedoms. We are open for any constructive dialog to carry out a balanced policy of smoking in public places in Ukraine” .