US and Russia Work Together on Anti-Smoking Guidelines

As Russia gets prepared to begin introducing a countrywide smoking ban in public areas, international public health collaboration between the United States and Russia has developed a extensive set of quitting smoking principles to be implemented next week to health professionals and government officials around Russia.

Ciagrette Smoke Exhaling

Woman exhaling cigarette smoke

“The rules were provided yesterday, on May 14, in Moscow, and will be made accessible to all interested parties, such as officials, specialists, NGOs, mass media and the public,” said Andrey Demin, president of the Russian Public Health Association.

The guidelines are a product of the US-Russia Civil Society Partnership Program (CSPP), which introduced in 2009 as then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and newly-elected US President Barack Obama met to reset US-Russian relations. The program determined 11 places in which organizers said both nations could take advantage of cooperative initiatives, including public health.

Created by health experts and researchers in both nations, and determined by the European model for stopping smoking, the document requires any smoker who sees a healthcare provider in Russia to be counseled to give up smoking and get the opportunity for a treatment program adapted to their needs.

In April, Medvedev said he thought the new public smoking ban in Russia could save up to 200,000 lives yearly.

Many states and cities in the United States have passed laws banning smoking in public areas and the percentage of smoking adults in the US has slipped from 23% in 1993 to 17% in 2010, according to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a federal public health and safety agency.

Ziegler is part of the group that produced the anti-smoking guidelines and will present them in Moscow, Lipetsk, St. Petersburg, Petrozavodsk, Kazan and Yelets beginning next week.

Both the United Stateы and Russia have signed the treaty, but while Russia has ratified the treaty, the US has not, mostly due to the political power of the tobacco industry in America, some specialists told.

Between the treaty, the smoking ban and the new guidelines on treatment, Russian President Vladimir Putin appears ready to exceed the United States in its anti-tobacco initiatives and further position Russia as a world leader on what has turn out to be a worldwide health concern, they said.

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