Russia plans new laws to ban smoking in public
The Russian government has backed proposed legislation to ban smoking in public places, paving the way for the draft law to be debated in parliament.
The bill, which would also limit tobacco advertising and sponsorship, aims to help tackle a public health crisis in the world’s second biggest market after China.
“The draft law foresees a total, complete ban on smoking in public places … Gradually, by 1 January, 2015, restaurants, cafés and other retail outlets must be free from smoking,” premier Dmitry Medvedev told his cabinet yesterday, according to the government website.
The number of sale points will be reduced and advertising limited, Mr Medvedev said.
Foreign tobacco firms – including British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco, Japan Tobacco, and Phillip Morris – control more than 90 per cent of Russian sales and have been lobbying to soften the proposed legislation.
Russian smoking rates have shot up in the past two decades, fuelled by extremely low prices for cigarettes and largely uncontrolled advertising.
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