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18:46 GMT +3 hours20 December 2014
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The minimum legal age at which people can purchase tobacco products in Russia may be raised from 18 to 21.

Russian Government Backs Public Smoking Ban

© RIA Novosti. Ilia Pitalev
Russia
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The Russian government unanimously backed a ban on smoking in public places on Thursday.

The Russian Cabinet of Ministers unanimously backed a ban on smoking in public places on Thursday.

"A decision must be taken, we need to move in a civilized direction, as the whole world is doing," Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said after the Cabinet discussion.

The bill under consideration would limit the sale of cigarettes and ban the display of tobacco products, as well as outlaw depictions of smoking in media content aimed at children. The bill would also raise duties on tobacco products for producers.

It is expected to move to the State Duma, the ower house of parliament, by November 1.

Medvedev said earlier this week that some 400,000 Russians die every year of smoking-related diseases and that one in every three people in the country was addicted to nicotine.