Anti-Smoking Campaign in Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who started a new six-year term in 2012 and who has promoted healthy lifestyles has recently signed a law that will ban smoking in most public places. The law will also ban the sales of tobacco products at street kiosks and restrict advertisement relative to said products. The law also provides for the setting of minimum prices for cigarettes.
Russia, which is considered to be the world’s second largest tobacco market after China, will start implementing smoke ban in subways and schools as well as prohibiting sale of cigarettes in street kiosks effective June 1, 2014. Smoke ban will likewise be enforced in other places including restaurants and cafes a year later.
Putin hopes the law will help undermine an entrenched cigarette culture and reverse a decline in Russia’s population, which dropped, by almost 7 million (from almost 149 million in 1991, the year of the collapse of the Soviet Union to about 142 million, according to World Bank figures). Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, an advocate of the law said that nearly one in three Russians are addicted to smoking, and smoke-related causes of death reached to almost 400,000 each year.
The law was signed by Putin on Saturday and was announced on Monday, according to the Kremlin. The intention of the law was to bring Russia to conform to the WHO (World Health Organization) tobacco control treaty that was ratified by Moscow in 2008. The law however is now facing opposition from foreign tobacco companies that dominate a cigarette market estimated to be worth $22 billion in 2011, according to a market research company.
Reuters. Putin signs law to curb smoking, tobacco sales in Russia. Yahoo.