Russian Parliament passed the strictest anti-tobacco bill in Europe

No Smoking Poster

According to the Lower House of the Russian Parliament, it has passed the strictest anti-tobacco bill in Europe in the third final reading.

Beginning with this summer smoking will be banned in public buildings or on playgrounds; tobacco ads will not be allowed; and it will be prohibited to put cigarette packs on display in shops. The lawmakers appear to have made the decision to protect children and non-smokers by implementing very strict rules on Russian smokers. The deputies want smoking to develop into unfashionable and high-priced.

Smokers will have time to adjust to the changes since all the rules will become operative slowly. Some prohibitions will be operative right away, while others will take about a year to become effective, Sergei Zheleznyak, Deputy Speaker of the Lower House of Parliament clarifies.

“Starting with July 1st, 2013, after it is accepted by the Federation Council and is signed by the President, the bill will become effective. Smoking areas will be removed from government and municipal buildings and children’s, medical, sports, and religious institutions. Beginning with July 1st, 2014, smoking areas will disappear from railway stations and airports. Nevertheless, special designated places for smoking will be established no less than 15 meters away from transport infrastructure buildings. Additionally, there will still be an opportunity of establishing smoking areas in office buildings, but they would have to be outfitted with convenient ventilation systems. A full smoking ban in cafes and restaurants will come into effect beginning with the 1st of July of 2014.

Already beginning with May, cigarette packs in Russia will be with pictures of the worst effects of smoking. The anti-tobacco bill will have an effect on everything that has an indirect connection to smoking. Electronic cigarettes will also be prohibited because, based on the lawmakers, such devices indirectly harm human health by appearing as advertisements of smoking. All cigarette advertisements will be prohibited from mass media and the internet. If somebody chooses to include a smoking scene in their film, they would have to prove that it is important for the movie, before it’s permitted in the final cut. All law-breakers who will smoke in public places will be fined: 3000 rubles, or about 100USD.

One of the factors why smoking is so wide-spread in Russia is due to the fact tobacco products are fairly cheap there and the taxes on tobacco are really several times lower than in Europe. The government plans to increase the taxes for tobacco companies and spend the tax money on health needs and the propaganda of a healthy life-style.

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