October 4, 2010 - Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has approved a national anti-tobacco program for 2010-2015 as part of the government's strong push to dramatically bring down the number of cigarette smokers in Russia. The recommendations of the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which Russia ratified in April, are now fully reflected in this country's anti-tobacco laws.
We had given up on Russia and Tobacco Control - recently, when Russia’s finance minister Alexei Kudrin urged citizens to smoke and drink more explaining that higher consumption would help lift tax revenues for spending on social services. (Russia - finance minister urges citizens to smoke and drink more to lift tax revenues..)
VIDEO - Putin tackles smoking, Prime Time Russia, 10/4/2010.
The concept provides for a complete ban on the tar-content classification of cigarettes, as experts say that all talk about some cigarettes being less harmful than others is simply a means of hoodwinking consumers. There will also be a ban on advertising, sponsoring and stimulation of tobacco sales.
Cigarette smoking itself may soon become a luxury here now that the government is considering the cigarette sales tax to bring it up to par with European standards.
All this reflects the aggressive anti-smoking campaign now on elsewhere in the world. There is a total ban on smoking in public places now in effect in Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Malta, the UK, Lithuania, Slovenia, Greece and Cyprus. Japan recently imposed a record 40 percent tax hike on cigarettes in a bid to curb the nation's smoking rate - the highest among major industrialized nations.
The harshest anti-tobacco law, however, is to be found in Finland, where you can wind up in jail for selling just one cigarette to someone who is under age. (Finland - enforcement of tobacco act begins - 1st - forbid the selling of cigarettes to children..)
If implemented in full, the anti-tobacco program may soon make cigarette smoking in Russia embarrassing, prohibitively expensive and passé to boot.
From the Tobacco International Resource Center
Russia - Tobacco Burden Facts, June 2010..
Also, Tobacco control advocates in Russia are gearing up for the smokefree 2014 Winter Olympics and Para-Olympics in Sochi.
Reference: No smoking, Voice of Russia, 10/2/2010.
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