Russia passes new restrictions on tobacco..

December 4, 2008 - Russia's Duma (the Duma in the Russian Empire and Russian Federation corresponds to the lower house of the parliament) on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 approved legislation to lower tar and nicotine content in cigarettes and to place large health warnings on the packs. The legislation, which still must be approved by the upper house and signed by the president before taking effect, allows cigarette makers to continue to identify some brands as "light" or "low-tar."

The measure calls for the maximum amounts of tar and nicotine in cigarettes to be reduced by 15-20 percent and for health warnings to be no smaller than 30 percent of the pack's surface, a substantial increase from their current size.

The World Health Organization's tobacco control agreement has urged that such terms be prohibited, but the guidelines are not mandatory. Japan also has allowed the language to remain on cigarette packs.

The number of Russian smokers is among the highest in the world, with 42% of early deaths among men aged 35-69 caused by smoking. Every year, there are over 260,000 smoking-related deaths in Russia. (Third of Russians smoke, but half welcome public smoking ban) Russia already has banned smoking in government offices and some public places, and has required large restaurants to establish nonsmoking sections.

In 2001 Russia introduced its first law in more than 20 years that limits the use of tobacco. The law, signed by President Putin last July, came into force in January 2002. In the 1970s, smoking in trains and by doctors when working with patients was banned.

Reference: Russia passes new restrictions on tobacco, Yahoo News - Associated Press, 12/3/2008.

Euromonitor - Tobacco in Russia. Russia is the world’s third-biggest tobacco market, behind China, with 1.6 trillion cigarettes, and the United States, with 400 billion. It has an annual consumption of about 315 billion cigarettes. British consumption is about 57 billion cigarettes. (BAT plans to beat Philip Morris with Russian post deal, TimesOnline, 11/24/2005)

Related news briefs:British American Tobacco (BAT) Misleading Russian Consumers..; Russian State Duma (Parliament) ratified the framework convention of the World Health Organization (WHO) on tobacco control.. and WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2008.

Russia (April 2008) has ratified the
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Treaty.



January 21, 2009 at 3:21 PM

At least there is some progress... when is the bill set to be reviewed by the higher legislation?