Russians Doubt Smoking Ban in Public Places

by Jenny Novac on January 21, 2013

Most Russians do not maintain the government’s step to enforce a total ban on smoking in public places and consider the focus should be on supporting people who smoke give up, a pollster said on January 17.

The State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament is to examine the anti-smoking bill in its second reading on January 25.

Smoking Ban

No Smoking

Based on a review carried out by the Levada Center in November, only 29% of answerers backed an outright smoking ban in public places such as workplaces, airports, restaurants, bars and hotels.

About 75% consider public smoking must be limited to specifically designated areas.

Around 55% of answerers reported the government should aim more at showing smokers methods of giving up smoking, offering help and advice.

Only 20% stated that higher prices, taxes and fines were successful anti-smoking actions.

A predicted 40% of Russian adults smoke some tobacco products. Tobacco, along with increased alcohol use, is one of the major preventable reasons of health problems in Russia.

The Duma approved the anti-smoking bill in a first reading in December 2012. On January 11, Russian lawmakers suggested further limitations to the anti-smoking bill, specifically prohibiting smoking areas at workplaces and demonstrating smoking on television and in films.

The bill envisages a constant ban on smoking in public – from government buildings, educational and cultural areas to sports stadiums and transport systems. Smoking will be banned in other public places, including playgrounds and train stations.

The bill would additionally ban cigarette sales in counters, the display of tobacco products, and pictures of smoking in any form of media, as well as increasing tobacco taxes and propose the lowest price for cigarettes.

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