News / Europe

Russian PM Wants Smoking in Public Places Banned

A man smokes along a street in central Moscow, October 16, 2012.
A man smokes along a street in central Moscow, October 16, 2012.
Russia has one of the highest smoking rates in the world, with an estimated 40 percent of the country's adults lighting up. As a result, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is proposing a ban on smoking in public places by 2015 and is calling for a ban on all tobacco ads in a country where a pack can cost less than $1.

Medvedev addressed the issue in a video on his blog, saying it’s imperative that Russians stop smoking because every year some 400,000 die as a result of smoking-related causes.

He said that every year the equivalent of a large city disappears from the country's map because of tobacco. He goes on to say that these are usually painful and long deaths from cancer or emphysema, or sudden deaths from a heart attack or stroke.

The World Health Organization (WHO) claims that some 40 percent of Russians smoke, second only to China. According to the latest statistics, women are increasingly taking up the habit, with some 22 percent smoking in 2009, compared to only 7 percent in 1992.

So now Russia’s Health Ministry is readying a bill that would forbid cigarette smoking in public places, ban tobacco advertising altogether and increase taxes on cigarette sales significantly.

Vladimir, a Muscovite who did not want to give his last name, says he’s in favor of the ban.

He says he does not smoke and does not think it’s nice that people smoke in public places.

Despite Vladimir's support for smoking regulations, many Russians say they’ll continue to smoke and call it an invasion of their rights to make their own decisions concerning personal health.

Despite this expected opposition, Medvedev says the bill is needed now.

He says, I'll be direct: this document is important for every Russian.

The bill still has to pass both the upper and lower houses of parliament before it becomes law. Many analysts say even if that does happen, the government does not have the infrastructure to enforce, or even implement, the new anti-smoking measures.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: david lulasa from: tambua,hamisi,vihiga,keny
October 17, 2012 5:43 AM
this is a good order from the strong man,and how more stronger he is will be determined by the respect he shows the users instead of treating them like ,missile targets.

lulasa
tv(TAMBUA VILLAGE,GIMARAKWA)hamisi,vihiga,kenya.


by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
October 16, 2012 10:29 PM
As usual, analysts are true. The PM’s initiative, cosmetic in nature, is a PR move, and doesn’t derive from fundamental causes of the lethal habit. The bill certainly will pass in rubber-stamping Duma, but will be dumped into the dustbin before ink dries off. How you can extinct the deadly smoke in a country with macho culture of violence and lawlessness, with backward general education and health education non-existent? Even precious gift from the West that has made possible the existence of Russian Wikipedia under Putin’s regime can’t serve the purpose of the health education. Putin-Jugend teenagers write thousands “academic” articles for the Russian Wikipedia but health-related articles are ruthlessly deleted by the regime appointed “Administrators”.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid