A bill significantly tightening the rules for smoking in public places will be submitted to the Russian parliament this week, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily said on Thursday. The document stipulates a total ban on smoking in restaurants, government, education, medical, cultural and sports facilities as well as work places, including elevators, public transport and in transport terminals. Smokers will be officially allowed to smoke only at home and outdoors. On Friday, Russia’s Chief Sanitation Doctor Gennady Onishchenko said a tough anti-smoking bill should become law despite opposition from business groups.
The plans to toughen regulations for the sale of tobacco and to prohibit smoking in public spaces have been discussed for a long time. In April 2008 Russia joinedthe WHOconvention on tobacco control. Over the next five years it must tailor its legislation to conform with this document. The bill currently under review should serve this purpose.
According to Rospotrebnadzor (the service for the oversight of consumer protection and welfare), almost 50 million people in Russia, or more than 40% of the population, are smokers. More than 60% of men between the ages of 19 and 64, and over one third of women between 19 and 44 are tobacco-dependent.
According to Rospotrebnadzor, since 1995, cigarette production in Russia has increased considerably. In the mid-1990s Russia produced 499 cigarettes per capita, while in 2010 that figure had reached 2,838.