(Access to Coverage of Tobacco Treatment In Our Nation)
Shaping Policies | Improving Health
September 7, 2012 Russia will submit a law banning smoking in public places to parliament by Nov. 1, defying opposition from leading cigarette makers Philip Morris International Inc. (PM) and British American Tobacco Plc. (BATS). “Selling cigarettes is basically illegal if we look at it from the point of view of protecting consumer rights,” Deputy Health Minister Sergei Velmiaikin told reporters today in Moscow.
Russia, the world’s largest tobacco market after China, loses 1.5 trillion rubles ($46.3 billion) a year, or 2.5 percent of gross domestic product, because of premature deaths caused by smoking, Velmiaikin said. That doesn’t include the extra health costs of treating people who suffer from tobacco-related diseases, he said. A draft law published Aug. 31 by the Health Ministry calls for outlawing all cigarette advertising immediately, ending retail sales at kiosks and banning smoking in public buildings such as bars and restaurants by Jan. 1, 2015. Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East generated about a third of sales volumes at BAT and Philip Morris, according to the companies.
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