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Russian Parliament Passes Anti-Smoking Bill

No Smoking Symbol

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 envisages a gradual ban on smoking in public, including in government buildings, healthcare and educational facilities, cultural sites, stadiums and public transport.

Additional restrictons proposed on January 11, in particular banning the so-called smoking lounges at workplaces, were not included in the bill’s final version.

The legislation also imposes a complete ban on tobacco advertising. Tobacco companies will be barred from holding promotional prize draws and sponsoring public events and competitions. The bill also prohibits displaying tobacco products in shops.

Some of the bill’s provisions, including a total ban on smoking in trains and hotels, will come into effect one year later.

Russia signed the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control with the World Health Organization in 2008. This obliges Russia to enact tougher restrictions on tobacco by 2015.

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