Russia Passes Major Public Smoking Ban

By Valerie Tejeda 02/13/13

A ban on smoking in restaurants, hospitals and public buildings will take effect in June.

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Russians will no longer be able to buy cigs
at kiosks.
Photo via

In an effort to limit the harm caused by second-hand smoking, a bill was passed by Russia’s lower house of parliament on Tuesday to ban smoking in public places. The bill is expected to be approved by the upper house of parliament and signed by President Vladimir Putin within two weeks. “The good thing is that in the next year we will receive a smoke-free environment in restaurants, hospitals and public buildings,” says Dmitri Yanin, chairman of the Conference of Consumer Protection Societies. “It’s a big success.” Starting on June 1, 2013, smoking will be banned at hospitals, clinics, schools, universities, playgrounds, government buildings, apartment buildings stairwells, sports arenas, company offices, and on most public transportation. Beginning June 2014, the ban will extend to shopping centers, long-distance trains, and hotels. Tobacco sales will also be restricted to large stores, putting an end to sales at street kiosks. The bill has riled some—including the All-Russia Movement for the Rights of Smokers, who have lobbied hard for the establishment of smoking rooms in company offices to avoid businessmen smoking outside in the cold. “Too many bans means the law would not be enforced,” says Andrei Loskutov, executive director of the organization. “It would be humiliating for half of Russia’s population.” Approximately 60% of adult Russian men smoke, and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that the habit kills around 400,000 citizens a year. The country has the second biggest tobacco market in the world, after China.

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Entertainment journalist and author Valerie Tejeda spends her days reporting on books, television, and all things pertaining to pop culture, and spends her nights writing novels for teens. Her stories have appeared on a variety of different publications, including but not limited to: VanityFair, MTV, The Huffington Post, TeenVogue, She Knows, Latina, The Fix, Salon.com, Cosmopolitan, and more. You can find Valerie on Linkedin and Twitter.

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