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article imagePutin signs law banning smoking in public places in Russia

By Layne Weiss     Feb 25, 2013 in Health
Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law banning smoking in public places. Under the new law, it will be illegal to smoke in restaurants, cafes, hotels, trains, and many other places.
Russia has one of the highest smoking rates in the world, with over 4 in 10 Russians considered "smokers," BBC News reports. The government had made reducing smoking a top priority in improving overall public health.
The Bill was passed by Parliament in February. One member voted against it.
The law will take effect in two stages.
First, beginning on June 1, 2013, it will be illegal to smoke in Russia on municipal transport, at railway stations, in lifts, bus stations, administrations, as well as any education or health centers, The Telegraph reports.
The following year, in June, 2014, ships, long distance trains and train platforms, hotels, cafes, and restaurants will be added to the list of places where it will be illegal for people to smoke in Russia.
The new law will also ban sales of tobacco products at kiosks, restrict advertising, and reduce cigarette pricing to the absolute minimum, Reuters reports. Cigarettes in Russia currently cost 50-60 rubles, which is about $2.
Neither President Putin or Prime Minister Medvedev are smokers, but Mr. Medvedev is surrounded by many smoking members in the cabinet such as Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, The Telegraph reports.
In October, 2012, Medvedev called for a public smoking ban in Russia by 2015.
Meanwhile, President Putin is hopeful the ban will help undermine the fixation on the smoking culture, Reuters reports. Cigarettes have taken the lives of many since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and Putin would like to see a healthy, smoke free Russia.
More about new law banning smoking in public places, president Vladimir Putin, Russia, smoking in restaurants and other public places ill
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