1 Jun 2013

Smoking ban takes effect in Russia

12:30 pm on 1 June 2013

A law banning smoking in some public places and restricting tobacco advertising is due to come into effect in Russia on Saturday.

Smoking will be banned at workplaces, housing block stairwells, buses and commuter trains and within 15 metres of train stations and airports.

The ban will be extended to restaurants, bars, ships and trains in 2014.

Russia has one of the highest smoking rates in the world with around 40% of its population smokers.

Anti-smoking legislation was signed by President Vladimir Putin in February as part of a plan to improve public health, raise life expectancy and promote economic growth.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said almost 400,000 Russians died from smoking-related diseases last year.

The BBC reports legislation will also restrict cigarette sales and ban advertising and sponsorship of events by tobacco companies.

The sale of tobacco will be prohibited at street kiosks and minimum prices will be set for cigarettes.