Moscow authorities plan to ban smoking in restaurants and pubs by 2014 and increase penalties for drinking alcohol in public places, according to a draft plan published on the website of the city’s department of economic policy and development.
“The ban on smoking in public places will be introduced gradually. In 2012 a total ban on smoking is planned in educational and healthcare facilities, places of culture, state offices and public transportation. In 2013-2014 the ban will be extended to all workplaces, pubs and restaurants,” it said.
In addition, 20 percent fewer licenses to sell alcohol will be granted in 2012-2014.
It is also expected to increase the fine for drinking alcoholic beverages, including beer, in public places to 1,000 rubles ($33) from 100-300 rubles currently .
More adults smoke in Russia than in any other heavy-smoking country in the world, the World Health Organization concluded in a report released last year.
Nearly 40 percent of the country’s 143-million-strong population were smokers, it said.
Smoking-related diseases kill as many as 350,000-500,000 Russians every year, Russian officials say.
In 2010, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin approved a government anti-smoking program that aims to reduce the number of adult smokers 25 percent by 2015.