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Russia eyes cigarette ad ban, public smoking curbs

October 14th, 2010 Posted in Tobacco news Buy cheap cigarettes online Tags:

public smoking curbs
Up to half a million people die from smoking-related causes a year in Russia, whose population the United Nations says could shrink to 116 million by 2050 from 142 million now. Along with smoking, alcoholism, AIDS, pollution and poverty are among the factors leading to early deaths and discouraging births in Russia.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin approved the anti-smoking program on September 23, his press service said, which aims to cut the number of adult smokers by a quarter between 2010 and 2015, and reduce smoking-related diseases and deaths.

Tobacco advertising — currently only allowed in some printed media — would be banned by 2012, according to the lengthy document published on the official website. Tobacco billboard ads were banned in 2007.

The program also proposes a ban on smoking in public places such as offices, theatres and public transport, including long-distance trains, by 2015.

Though a total ban on closed spaces is proposed, the document says restaurants and bars — most of which currently do not have non-smoking areas — could be excluded.

Around 80 percent of Russians are exposed to passive smoking daily and 40 percent of women smokers continue the habit through pregnancy, the document said.

Russia’s love affair with tobacco — where many Western-brand cigarettes cost 50 roubles ($1.64) a pack — will be hard to break.

In 1990 a shortage of domestic cigarettes led to a “tobacco rebellion” on the streets of Russia’s biggest cities, forcing the then-Soviet government to appeal for an international emergency shipment.

In June the health ministry forced manufacturers to put anti-smoking messages on cigarette packs, warning of lung cancer, wrinkles and impotence, adopting standards similar to those in the European Union.

Russia remains one of the world’s top tobacco clients, however, with the domestic market dominated by Japan Tobacco Inc., Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco PLC.

Some 409 billion cigarettes were produced in Russia last year, according to the Association of Tobacco Producers. (Reporting by Amie Ferris-Rotman, additional reporting by Gleb Bryanski; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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