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December 10, 2010 - As of January 1, 2011, smoking will be banned in indoor workplaces and public places in Ukraine, however the law allows for these areas to have designated smoking rooms. The haze of smoke that greets visitors to many Kyiv restaurants could soon clear a bit as authorities plan next year to introduce a new recommendation to encourage restaurants, cafes and bars to restrict smoking to closed-off rooms.
The move to clean up Kyiv’s restaurants – most of which currently allow smoking – has been championed by public health advocates and non-smokers. But experts say that the measure falls short. Health officials say that only a complete ban on indoor smoking in public places can prevent the damage caused by inhaling second-hand smoke, a major cause of disease and premature death for non-smokers. The medical consensus is that there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke.
Moreover, many nations that have adopted stiff indoor smoking bans have found them to be successful and popular, while not harming businesses such as restaurants and pubs. Smokers, in short, adjust to the restrictions and even smoke less – which polls show most of them want to do anyway.
A new law has been passed that bans smoking at bus stops and underground crossings and requires all restaurants to designate at least half of their space for non-smokers, but this law is not yet being enforced, and people's behavior has changed little.
The Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament) has approved in principle a bill to ban advertising, sponsorship and promotion of sale of tobacco products. The document is aimed at bringing the Law on Advertising, Law on Measures to Prevent and Reduce Tobacco Use and its Harmful Effects on Human Health and the Code of Administrative Offences in line with the WHO Tobacco Convention on Tobacco Control, ratified by the Ukrainian parliament on March 15, 2006.
In particular, MPs (Members of Parliament) propose a ban on all tobacco advertising, and advertising of signs for the goods and services, and other objects of intellectual property law under which these products are produced.
Additionally, it is also expected to ban sponsorship of television and radio programmes, theater and concert, sports and other activities with using signs for goods and services, and other objects of intellectual property law under which tobacco products are manufactured, except for advertising in specialized publications and special exhibitions.
The lawmakers also want that the advertising of any goods or services must contain no images of tobacco products or the process of their smoking.
VIDEO - Ukraine Protesters Seek Ban on Beer and Cigarette Advertising, NTD Television, 11/18/2010.
Every year some 100,000 Ukrainians die prematurely from diseases caused by smoking. The Ukrainian Ministry of Family, Youth and Sports estimate that 68% of young boys and 64% of girls drink alcohol.
On September 27, Ukraine released its Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) results.
Highlights from the GATS Ukraine survey are as follows:
* In Ukraine 28.8 percent of adults (11.5 million) currently smoke tobacco (50.0 percent men; 11.2 percent women).
* Although 86.3 percent of adults believe inhaling other people's smoke causes serious illness, 32.8 percent of adults inhaled secondhand smoke daily or almost daily. In the venues of restaurants or cafes, 64.1 percent were exposed to secondhand smoke. (Note: As of January 1, 2011, smoking will be banned in indoor workplaces and public places in Ukraine, however the law allows for these areas to have designated smoking rooms.)
* 45.1 percent of adults noticed cigarette marketing in advertisements, sponsorship, or promotions. Though tobacco advertising is banned on television, radio and on outdoor billboards in Ukraine, other forms of marketing are allowed, including tobacco sponsorship and promotion.
* 67.9 of current smokers are interested in quitting and 40.5 percent of smokers attempted to quit in the past year.
Meanwhile, according to surveys conducted this autumn, the Ukrainians have been massively giving up smoking. For example, in 2005 as many as 62% of men smoked daily, and in 2010 - 45%, while the number of female smokers for 5 years decreased by almost half - from 17% to 9%.
The warning messages on Ukrainian cigarette packets
Economics of Tobacco Taxation in Ukraine - 2008: "If tax represents 70 percent of the retail price, the number of smokers would decline by almost 2 million, and about 1 million tobacco-related deaths would be avoided. At the same time, the government would collect an additional UAH 5.8 billion (US$ 1.2 billion) in excise tax revenue per year."
References: Experts: Partial ban on indoor smoking in public places is ineffective remedy, Irina Sandul (email@example.com), KyivPost.com, 12/10/2010, Ukraine to ban cigarette advertizing, MIGnews.com.ua, 12/1/2010).
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