Russian Ministry Airs Drastic Proposals To Snuff Out Smoking

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, January 10, 2017) Since 2013, Russia has banned smoking in restaurants and taken serious measures to reduce its huge number of smokers. Now, drastic proposals aired this week could put Russia on course to try and eradicate the habit altogether. The Russian Health Ministry on January 9 proposed a blanket ban on […]

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Are Russia’s ‘anti-tobacco’ laws responsible for the decline of smoking?

The number of smokers in Russia has fallen to a seven-year minimum. Currently, only one Russian in three smokes. But is this related to the country’s anti-smoking legislation, one of the harshest in the world? Or has the economic crisis played a role? (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – OLEG YEGOROV, RBTH – July 8, 2016) “We’ve started smoking […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Lavrov seldom smokes but believes anti-smoking campaign in Russia is excessive” – TASS ….. #RUSSIA #SMOKING #LAVROV #TOBACCO

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… Lavrov believes that Russia’s current measures against smoking are excessive somewhat. … he remarked that although he himself might light up a cigarette or two once in a while, he preferred … sports. Asked … if he smoked inside the Foreign Ministry’s building, Lavrov said: ‘I cannot violate Russia’s laws. But I believe that the laws have gone too […]

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Number of smokers in Russia down 16-25%, Health Ministry wants to make access to tobacco impossible for those born after 2015

MOSCOW. May 30 (Interfax) – The number of smokers has decreased in Russia over the past 25 years, by 16% according to the Russian Federal Statistics Service (Rosstat) and by 25% according to public opinion polls, Russian Health Minister Veronica Skvortsova said. “The number of smokers has decreased in our country for the first time in 25 years, in the […]

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Nine lingering myths about Russia

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

We are often held prisoner by imposed stereotypes and opinions about countries, people and events. RBTH has collected nine myths about Russia that are far from accurate. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – NATALYA PUKHOVA, SPECIAL TO RBTH – January 26, 2016) 1. The death rate in Russia is higher than its birth rate There is a widespread belief […]

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Putin’s Other War? Russians’ Binge Drinking

Man in Silhoette with Bottle of Alcohol and Head in Hand

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Peter R. Orszag – August 11, 2015) Peter R. Orszag is a Bloomberg View columnist. Now vice chairman of corporate and investment banking and chairman of the financial strategy and solutions group at Citigroup, he was previously director of the Office of Management and Budget. Russian President Vladimir Putin may be undermining global peace and civic […]

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NEWSLINK Christian Science Monitor: Fred Weir, Kremlin says Russians are drinking less and exercising more. Are they? Only to a degree, say analysts

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

The Kremlin says Russians are drinking and smoking far less and exercising far more than just a few years ago. Has Russia finally gotten the upper hand on the chronic health problems that have caused its demographic decline? Maybe not. Experts warn that while Russians do appear to be living healthier lives now, the improvement shown in figures gathered by […]

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Government: Russians Smoking, Drinking Less Thanks to Putin

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 30, 2015) More and more Russians are trading in vodka and cigarettes for gym memberships, according to a report released by the government on Sunday. The report was published in a bid to outline the government’s achievements in fulfilling President Vladimir Putin’s so-called “May Orders,” a series of campaign promises – including ones related […]

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Nicotine nation: The story of Russia’s addiction to the cigarette

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Georgy Manaev, RBTH) On June 1, 2014, Russian lawmakers banned smoking in trains, hotels, cafes, and playgrounds. For a country where tobacco has been popular for more than 400 years, this is not the first action taken to restrict smoking. RBTH takes a trip back in time to uncover the history of smoking […]

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Smoking in Russia: kicking the habit

(opendemocracy.net – Diana Quirmbach – June 3, 2014) Diana Quirmbach is a PhD candidate at University College London. More people smoke in Russia than almost anywhere else in the world, but the government is finally catching up, in clamping down. On 1 June 2014, the landscape of smoking changed dramatically in Russia. While efforts to control tobacco are not new […]

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New Law Could Hit Russian Smokers With Massive Cigarette Price Hike

(Moscow Time – themoscowtimes.com – May 28, 2014) As Russians brace themselves for a public smoking ban to come into effect on Sunday, lawmakers have submitted a new draft law hiking the minimum price on cigarettes in the latest bid to change the country’s attitude to smoking. The new law would see a 41-percent increase in the minimum price for […]

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Russia Fourth in World For Number of Smokers

MOSCOW, January 8 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia is among the world’s heaviest smoking countries, outranked only by China, India and Indonesia, according to a new report out Wednesday. About 39 million of 143 million Russians smoked as of 2012, the latest year covered by a global group of researchers for a study published in the Journal of the American Medical […]

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Russia sees decline in smokers

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Ilya Dashkovsky, special to RBTH – December 9, 2013) Higher taxes on tobacco products has forced more Russians to quit smoking. Tobacco users in Russia decreased by more than 5 percent in 2013, and experts expect a new higher excise taxes to reduce further the sale of cigarettes. Every Russian smoker knows the […]

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RIA Novosti: Fines for Smoking in Public in Russia Take Effect

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MOSCOW, November 15 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russians now face fines for smoking in public places, including near metro stations and airports, under new amendments to a broad anti-tobacco law that came into force Friday. Smoking within 15 meters (50 feet) of entrances to the metro, train stations and airports, as well as near hospitals, schools and playgrounds, is now punishable […]

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In Russia, ‘Death has Become a Way of Life’

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 3, 2013) The Kremlin celebrates every temporary uptick in the Russian birthrate, but it and many others typically ignore another deeply troubling aspect of that country’s deteriorating demographic situation: extraordinarily high death rates among adults and especially working-age males. Indeed, those rates are so high ­ Russia ranks 175th among the […]

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President Putin OKs Stiffer Fines for Smoking in Public

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MOSCOW, October 21 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian President Vladimir Putin signed off Monday on the introduction of stiffer penalties for smoking in public as the government continues in its battle to improve health standards in the country. The law sets fines of up to 3,000 rubles ($94) for smoking in public places designated as no smoking areas. The steepest fines […]

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Russian Parliament Introduces Fines for Smoking in Public

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(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, October 15, 2013) Russia’s lower house of parliament on Tuesday approved the third and final reading of a bill toughening the country’s anti-smoking legislation by introducing fines for smoking in public and encouraging minors to smoke. The bill is part of broader anti-smoking legislation that came into force in June. It sets fines of up to […]

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WHO Should Butt Out of Russia’s Cigarette Biz -­ Health Official

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(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 13, 2013) ­ The World Health Organization has no right to dictate to Russia how to develop its tobacco pricing policies, Russia’s chief health inspector said Thursday. The head of the WHO office in Russia, Luigi Migliorini, had earlier expressed disappointment in lower than expected increase rates for tobacco excise in the country after 2016. […]

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Setting the Pace for Russia, Moscow Tames Its Excesses

Moscow Traffic file photo

(Voice of America – James Brooke – June 10, 2013 – James Brooke is VOA Moscow bureau chief, covering Russia and the former USSR) Last week, an American friend of mine received two mysterious white envelopes in the mail. On opening them, he found that each contained a black and white photo of his car, each taken secretly, in the […]

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Smoking Ban Met With Skepticism

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – June 5, 2013) The new anti-smoking law that came into force last week and is seen by the government as a measure to fight population decline has been met more with skepticism than strict implementation. The measures that took effect on June 1 are the first phase in a large-scale program designed […]

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Russia’s Smoking Ban to Save 200,000 Lives a Year – Medvedev

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(RIA Novosti – GORKI, Moscow Region, April 24, 2013) ­ New legislation banning smoking in public places could save up to 200,000 lives annually in Russia, which has some of the highest rates of smoking in the world, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday. “I hope that it [anti-smoking law] will contribute to reducing this factor [smoking],” Medvedev said […]

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New Russian laws: no chance of a drink or a smoke

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(opendemocracy.net – Mikhail Loginov – March 21, 2013) Mikhail Loginov is a journalist and novelist based in St Petersburg. He is the author of the recently published bestselling political thriller “Battle for Kremlin”. Throughout Russia’s history its rulers have attempted to curtail the consumption of alcohol and/or tobacco. Gorbachev had little success in the 1980s; will this year’s new laws […]

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Federation Council Passes Anti-Smoking Bill

Federation Council file photo

MOSCOW, February 20 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, approved a bill on Wednesday banning smoking in public places. The ban, which takes effect on June 1, was passed by 125 votes. Four senators voted against the bill and six abstained. The State Duma, the parliament’s lower house, passed the bill in its third and […]

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Most Russians support anti-smoking law – poll

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(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Aleksandras Budrys – February 20, 2013) Most Russians support measures aimed at restricting the advertising, sale and use of tobacco products contained in the new bill passed by both houses of parliament, but are divided about its outcome, a poll run by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) showed on Wednesday. It showed 79 […]

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Puff, puff, pass a smoking ban

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(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Kristen Blyth – February 18, 2013) Making a smoking section at a restaurant, as comedian George Carlin once put it, is like designating a urinating section in a swimming pool. The two are not separate, whether you like it or not. In Russia, a country where about 39 percent of people are regular smokers, coming […]

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Russian Parliament Passes Anti-Smoking Bill

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MOSCOW, February 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, on Tuesday approved a bill banning smoking in public places in its third and final reading. The ban, which takes effect on June 1, was passed by a 441 to one vote. The Duma passed the anti-smoking bill in a second reading on January 25. It […]

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Looming Tobacco Crackdown Has Russian Smokers Fuming

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(RFE/RL – www.rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – February 5, 2013) MOSCOW — Denis Svidorov takes a drag on his cigarette, looks at the scene around him and wonders whether it will soon be a thing of the past. It’s lunchtime at a dingy cafe near Moscow’s Belarussky train station and there are smokers at nearly every table. Even the no-smoking […]

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Russia adopts major bill to ban smoking in public places

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – www.rbth.ru – Olga Doronina – January 31, 2013) On Jan. 25, the State Duma adopted an “anti-tobacco” bill that will ban smoking in public places, cigarette sales at kiosks and smoking scenes in films and cartoons. Most Russians oppose a total ban on smoking in public places, but smokers will have less than a year […]

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Russia Weakens Anti-Smoking Law Before Key Second Reading

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer & Stepan Kravchenko – January 24, 2013) Russia weakened a proposed law aimed at cracking down on smoking in the world’s second-largest tobacco market before a key vote on the legislation tomorrow. While the bill keeps a ban on smoking in public places, it drops restrictions on cigarette sales and the right to set […]

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Countrywide Public Smoking Ban Looms

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Winning – January 24, 2013) Suffocating bars, smoke-filled restaurants and ash-laden office stairwells could soon be a thing of the past if legislation aimed at banning smoking in public places passes the remaining few hurdles and gets signed into law. But not everyone is rejoicing at the prospect of a government-led crackdown on smoking. […]

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Russians Doubt Public Smoking Ban – Poll

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MOSCOW, January 17 (RIA Novosti) – Most Russians do not support the government’s move to impose a complete ban on smoking in public places and believe the emphasis should be on helping smokers quit, a pollster said on Thursday. The State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, is to consider the anti-smoking bill in its second reading on January 25. […]

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Russia Faces ‘Battle’ Over Anti-Smoking Bill

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MOSCOW, October 18 (Dan Peleschuk, RIA Novosti)-The Cabinet of Ministers’ unanimous approval Thursday of a controversial anti-smoking bill was the latest salvo in the debate over how to tackle Russia’s tobacco addiction. As a result, some government officials are preparing for what they say will be a “battle” with Russia’s powerful tobacco lobby. “We will face an enormous amount of […]

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