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    Third of Russians smoke, but half welcome public smoking ban

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    Results of the latest survey conducted by Romir Monitoring have revealed that 31% of Russians are addicted to nicotine, although half of them support the idea of a ban on smoking in public places.

    MOSCOW, February 21(RIA Novosti) - Results of the latest survey conducted by Romir Monitoring have revealed that 31% of Russians are addicted to nicotine, although half of them support the idea of a ban on smoking in public places.

    The number of Russian smokers is among the highest in the world, with 42% of early deaths among men aged 35-69 caused by smoking. Every year, there are over 260,000 smoking-related deaths in Russia.

    According to the survey, 52% of men and 15% of women are smokers in Russia. Smoking is mostly a male habit, with the typical Russian smoker being a young man aged between 18 and 35 with a secondary education.

    The majority of male smokers (41% of those surveyed) said they smoke 20 cigarettes a day. Women smoke less than men - about 46% of them smoke less than 10 cigarettes daily.

    Moreover, there was a direct correlation between a smoker's age and the amount smoked. While fewer people aged 44 and older smoke, they smoke more.

    A growing number of Russians now recognize the harmful effects of smoking. However, the majority of those surveyed smoke the same amount as before, while 19%, mostly women, smoke less.

    In 2004 Russia's State Duma adopted a law limiting smoking of tobacco. It prohibited retail sale of tobacco products in healthcare, cultural, sports and educational institutions, and within a 100-meter radius from them.

    The law also bans smoking at work, in public transport, on board aircraft if the flight is shorter than three hours, in closed sports facilities and in government buildings, except in specially designated areas.

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