The Russian government is making a draft of a new anti-tobacco law that will significantly ban smoking in public areas and assume the increase of the cigarette prices to the European standard. The accomplishment of this measure may reduce smoking rates by 40-50 %, and the death rate will decrease to 150-200 per 1000 people per year.
Physicians say that there are a lot of smoking people in Russia and they smoke intensively. At the mean, men smoke (about 18 cigarettes a day) more that woman (approximately 13 cigs). Almost 44 million Russians or 40 % of the Russia’s population are smokers.
The Health Ministry admits smoking people put at threat their health and health of other people who are the victims of secondhand smoking. By reference to this, the Health Ministry intended to strengthen anti-tobacco laws. The new draft law suggests enacting of smoking ban in the workplace. There won’t be smoking zones at administrative buildings, offices, hospitals, schools, theatres and stadiums. Passenger transport and long-distance trains will be smoking-free areas. Smoking in cafes, restaurants, hotels the same as on staircases of apartment buildings will be banned in Russia.
However, in accordance with the Health Ministry, an open-air space for smoking can be provided for the smoking guests.
Vitaly Bogdanchikov, president of the “Health of the Country” foundation, said that according to the results of smoking rates in countries, which follow such restrictions, this measure is likely to be effective.
“I suppose that this new draft law will be useful for a majority of people. It is obvious fact that secondhand smoking is very harmful to people,” Vitaly Bogdanchikov said.
The General Director of the Tobacco Producers Association, Vadim Zhelnin casts doubts on the effectiveness of this law.
“Any restrictions won’t have an influence in a smoker and he will continue smoking as many cigarettes as he needs. Even if there is a long queue in a cigarette shop, then he will buy more cigarettes. This will significantly decrease the number of smoking people. Perhaps, this will even increase smoking,” Vadim Zhelnin added.
Notwithstanding, a great number of Russia’s population support anti-tobacco measures. In accordance with an opinion poll, over 80 % of Russians support smoking bans in public areas.
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