President Putin Signs Historic Law to Fight Tobacco Use in Russia

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Feb. 25 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – Russian President Vladimir Putin today has taken historic action to reduce tobacco use in the world's second largest tobacco market by signing into law comprehensive legislation that requires smoke-free public places and other measures to reduce tobacco use. The law reflects the growing concern over the horrific toll of tobacco in Russia, where one-third of citizens smoke — including an estimated 60 percent of men — and tobacco kills nearly 400,000 people each year. It also demonstrates how the fight against tobacco use — the world's number one cause of preventable death — is advancing even in countries where smoking is an ingrained part of the culture.

We applaud President Putin for delivering an important victory for public health. The law will save lives by preventing the tobacco industry from luring kids into smoking, helping smokers quit and protecting people from secondhand smoke. The law will be implemented in phases starting in June of 2013. The law:

  • Requires 100 percent smoke-free indoor public places, including educational, medical, cultural and sports facilities; government buildings; public transportation and terminals; shopping areas; and hospitality venues such as bars and cafes.

  • Prohibits tobacco sponsorships and point-of-sale cigarette displays and restricts other forms of tobacco marketing.

  • Restricts where tobacco products can be sold and bans their sale over the Internet.

The law also requires greater transparency between government officials and the tobacco industry. Any electronic or paper correspondence between the two will be required to be posted online.

 

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