Federation Council Passes Anti-Smoking Bill

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 final reading on February 12.

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

Additional restrictions 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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