MOSCOW, October 15 (RIA Novosti) – Russia's lower house of parliament on Tuesday approved the third and final reading of a bill toughening the country’s anti-smoking legislation by introducing fines for smoking in public and encouraging minors to smoke.
The bill is part of broader anti-smoking legislation that came into force in June. It sets fines of up to 3,000 rubles (about $93) for smoking in public places that have been designated “no smoking” areas, with the highest fine set for smoking in playgrounds. Due to come into force on November 15, it also expands the ban on advertising products containing tobacco and increases the fine payable for selling them to minors.
Public places affected include government buildings, healthcare and educational facilities, cultural sites, sports stadiums and public transport. Some elements, including a total ban on smoking in restaurants, trains and hotels, are set to come into effect next year.
The law also limits how stores can display products that contain tobacco. Sales from retail kiosks are to be banned from June 2014, and minimum prices will be set for cigarettes, some of which sell for 40 rubles ($1.24) a pack.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in April that the crackdown on smoking in public places could save up to 200,000 lives annually in Russia, which has some of the highest rates of smoking in the world.
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