Russia - seeing is believing, legislation coming to restrict spread of cigarette smoke..

February 15, 2011 - Smoking indoors in Russia could soon be virtually prohibited, according to Dmitry Yanin, chairman of the board of the international confederation of consumer societies.
He is planning to put forward new legislation which would – finally – restrict the spread of cigarette smoke. And he stated quite clearly that puffing away indoors is likely to become a thing of the past – perhaps within a matter of months. “We hope that these changes will happen in line with an approved anti-tobacco concept which was signed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin last September,” he said. “Among other things, this means that virtually all indoor smoking will be banned.”

However, before stubbing out that last cigarette, it might be worth pausing for a moment. Russia has repeatedly come to the brink of banning tobacco in public, only to see the legislation slip away like a wisp of smoke. And voluntary efforts to curb dependence on the weed have struggled, with a planned Moscow no-smoking week lasting a mere 24 hours as venues feared they would drive out custom. And Yanin concedes that this problem needs to be dealt with. “You wouldn’t believe it, but in the last 20 years our Russian parliament has approved just one penalty against smokers,” he told Komsomolskaya Pravda. “That is a 100-rouble ($3) fine for smoking on a train.

“Thus the legislature has clearly expressed its position: we do not want to punish people who smoke wherever they want.” But Yanin believes that at last things are going to change – with Putin’s signature to back him up. He plans to review the laws on advertising and health warnings on cigarette packets. And he urges smokers to brace themselves for that last hit of nicotine. “Maybe now it makes sense to start slowly giving up smoking because we are not far off a complete ban on smoking in all buildings,” he warned. “There will be no more smoking rooms.”

Reference: 20 years on - smoking ban may finally reach Russia by Andy Potts,, 2/14/2011

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