Russia to Introduce a Smoking Ban till the Sochi Olympics
The so expected ban on smoking in public places is approaching with the health ministry publishing its plans to introduce severe laws by 2014.
The law proposed by the government officials plans to prohibit smoking in all public places, including airports, train stations and transports till the Sochi Olympics. The price of a pack of cigarettes is planned to be increased in order to discourage people from this habit.
Smoking also will be banned in bars, cafes and nightclubs in 2015, and it will also include a ban on hookah.
A minimum retail price will be implemented, thus lifting costs up greatly.
Tobacco manufacturers will also be prohibited from sponsoring any events and advertising their smokes.
“Any companies and citizens can make their suggestions during the public debate,” the ministry declared.
Similar bans have been already introduced in many European countries as Finland, France, UK and Norway. The association of restaurants and hotels is ready for the ban, representative of the anti-tobacco coalition Nadejda Khalturina said Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
Examples from all around the world demonstrate that not only their gains did not fall, but sometimes even increased, as people wanted to take children with them, and would sit longer in a room with clean air than in one full of tobacco smoke.
According to a world survey that was realized among Russian adults, 60.2% of men and 21.7% of women in the country light up regularly.
Approximately 43.9 million Russian smoking adults constitute about 40% of the economically active population. According to data an average Russian lights up 17 cigarettes per day, and 400,000 Russians die every year because of serious diseases caused by tobacco usage.
“The solution to the problem of smoking is concealed not in bans, but in helping those people who want to quit this dangerous habit. Those who want to smoke won’t stop even if bans are introduced,” said well-known blogger Anton Nosik.
Several ministers state that such tough measures can only bring to an increase in corruption and counterfeit products.
“In order to have no doubts one can only walk through any train where anyone who feels like it smokes under the ‘no smoking ’sign.
It is not the question of how severe the punishment is, but of its inevitability. And we even do not have that. Who will enforce the law? Those police officers, 99% of whom are heavy smokers.” Nosik said.
“Prohibit the sales and manufacture of tobacco in any form, and I will be the first to stop smoking and begin jogging. But while cigarettes are legally distributed and sold, people are not prohibited to use them and allow millions of smokers to enjoy the great taste and flavor of their favorite smokes,” said blogger Andrei Kuprikov.
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