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Last Updated: Friday, 12 November, 2004, 16:26 GMT
Russia backs plan for smoking ban
Russian soldier
Russians are high up the league table of smoking countries
The lower house of the Russian parliament has approved legislation to ban smoking in public places.

If the bill is given backing by the upper house, new laws will come into force for one of the biggest cigarette-smoking populations in the world.

The legislation will prohibit smoking in workplaces, enclosed sports facilities and government offices.

It will also outlaw all sales of tobacco in health care facilities and sports venues.

But correspondents say it may have little effect - the current smoking ban on public transport is widely ignored.

Smoking and heavy alcohol consumption are two of Russia's most widespread public health problems, contributing to the country's declining average life span.

Beer ban

Latest figures from the World Health Organisation put Russia in fourth place among the highest-smoking countries.

Earlier this week, the upper house of the Russian parliament rejected a bill backed by the lower house that would have banned the consumption of beer in public.

But a diluted version of the bill may still emerge, when a commission reworks the legislation to try to secure approval by both houses of parliament.

Beer consumption in Russia has doubled in the past five years.

Around 30% of the beer bought in Russia is consumed immediately, as many people find it too expensive to buy alcohol at restaurants and bars.

Russia introduced tough beer advertising laws in September, banning commercials between the hours of 0700 and 2200.

The use of people and animals in beer ads will be prohibited as of next year.


SEE ALSO:
Russia cans frothy beer ads
12 Sep 04 |  Business
Wassup with our beer? Germans ask
21 Apr 04 |  Business


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