Broad Smoking Ban Adopted in Russia

Beginning June 1, smoking is prohibited inside state office buildings, universities, hospitals, sports stadiums, restaurants, and on trains, at railway stations, and near entrances to subways.

A newly adopted law in Russia will prohibit smoking inside state office buildings, universities, hospitals, sports stadiums, restaurants, and on trains, at railway stations, and near entrances to subways beginning June 1, Itar-Tass World Service writer Lyudmila Alexandrova reported Feb. 13. One year later, June 1, 2014, smoking will be banned at hotels, health centers, on airplanes and sea-going ships, and on urban and suburban commuter transport.

Her report said tobacco companies will be prohibited from holding lotteries or sponsoring festivals, and cigarettes will be removed from the shop windows, trade in electronic cigarettes and chewing tobacco will be banned, and all tobacco advertising will cease, including online ads.

Some legislators in the Duma have suggested imposing a 3,000-ruble fine (equal to $100) for smoking at public places.

"This day will go down in the history of Russian statehood as a day of fundamental, serious, and systemic step towards preserving the health of the nation," Russia's chief sanitary doctor, Gennady Onishchenko, said about the law's adoption, according to Alexandrova's report, which said more than 60 percent of Russian men and 20 percent of Russian women are smokers, and an average of 400,000 Russians die each year from diseases related to tobacco.

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