Russia's Smoking Ban Takes Effect

It's now illegal in workplaces, many public places

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jun 1, 2013 11:55 AM CDT

(Newser) – A law that bans smoking in public places took effect in Russia today, a contentious move in a country with one of the highest smoking rates in the world. The ban prohibits smoking in workplaces, schools, universities, and on public transportation. More restrictions will be applied next year. Authors of the ban—which got signed into law by Vladimir Putin—have pointed to the hundreds of thousands of Russians who die of smoking-related illnesses every year. Cigarettes are much cheaper in Russia than in the US and Europe, with the price of a pack starting at about $1. That helps explain why about 40% of Russians smoke.

People smoke outside a shopping mall in downtown Moscow Saturday.
People smoke outside a shopping mall in downtown Moscow Saturday.   (Mikhail Metzel)
A woman smokes at a fountain in a boulevard in downtown Moscow Saturday.
A woman smokes at a fountain in a boulevard in downtown Moscow Saturday.   (Mikhail Metzel)
A woman smokes in Gorky Park in Moscow Saturday.
A woman smokes in Gorky Park in Moscow Saturday.   (Mikhail Metzel)
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