Russia’s Health Ministry has proposed a draft legislation to parliament banning the open trade of cigs and even smoking in public areas, in a bid to decrease deaths in the world’s largest smoking state, RIA Novosti noted. The state ministry hopes that the new regulations could cut smoking by 40-50 per cent, helping to reduce the annual inhabitants mortality rate in Russia by 150,000 – 200,000.
The planned law would prohibit smoking in public areas including common premises in residential houses, long-distance trains, entries to railway stations, markets and public eating special places.
Street kiosks will also be banned from selling smoking products. Only stores with an special area larger than 50 square meters will be permitted to sell cigarettes but they will not be able to display cigs openly. Moreover, minimum retail prices are to be put for all smoking products.
The draft legislation proposes banning cigarette promotion, which will require the ordinance on advertising to be removed. Graphic health images displaying the effects of smoking habit will also appear on cigarette packages in a year.
Russia is the number one cigarettes consumer in the world, according to the Global Adult Tobacco Study(GATS). Almost 43.9 million Russians smoke cigarettes, or 39.1 per cent of the inhabitants.