Russia: Next step of anti-tobacco law in force from 1 June

The law against tobacco smoking has become stricter from June 1: Cafes and restaurants have no longer smoking areas, and it`s forbidden to smoke in hotels, shopping centers and long distance trains. Moreover, cigarettes and other tobacco products disappears behind the counter in shops and kiosks.

The first phase of the new law was implemented a year ago, and this has, according to the Healthcare Ministry, already reduced the number of fatal cases of heart and blood vessel disease, the news service “Voice of Russia” reports.

Since June 1, it is difficult for smokers in Russia to find a place where it`s allowed to smoke. The restriction zone starts already right outside of the apartment: it`s not allowed to smoke in the stairway, at the entrance, on bus stops, offices, railway stations, airports, on beaches and sports fields.

On the street, it`s in principle allowed to take a smoke but you must make sure that there are no kindergartens, schools, hospitals, subway stations, museums or theaters in the neighborhood.

Clubs, bars and restaurants will no longer have tables for smokers, they are from now on completely non-smoking territory. Especially this industry is not happy with the new law, and fears that some guests could stay away. But certainly not all are of this opinion. Experience from other “non-smoking” countries worldwide shows that such concerns are groundless. Admittedly in the beginning some guests will stay away, but on the other hand new customers want to enjoy their wine or brandy undisturbed by smoke – this also applies to families.

According to Russia’s Ministry of Health the first step of the law against smoking has already led to a reduction of mortality caused by cardiovascular and blood diseases. For example, died 15 percent less of the Russian citizens of these diseases in January 2014 than in the same month a year ago, “Voice of Russia” reports. Moreover, the population of Russia started smoking less than before, which already is visible in the sales statistics.

In shops it is no longer allowed to show cigarette packages or their pictures. Instead of that there is a price list printed on a white sheet of paper. Prices are going to rise in connection with the new rules. It is estimated that an ordinary pack of cigarettes will cost around 68 rubles (about 1.4 euro) on average and by 2016 around 91 rubles (about 1.9 euro) – still very little compared to European prices .

Source: Voice of Russia