MOSCOW, November 9 (Itar-Tass) —— A bill prohibiting hookah smoking in public places has been submitted to the State Duma. A future ban will be effective at retail trade and public catering outlets.
The bill was authored by a group of members of St. Petersburg’s legislative assembly, the lower house of parliament said.
The document introduces a ban on providing services for hookah smoking. The code of administrative offences may be complemented with an article saying that the violation of the new rules will be punishable with a fine. Individuals may have to pay 500 rubles to 1,500 rubles, officials, from 20,000 to 30,000, and legal entities, from 100,000 to 300,000.
As the explanatory memo says, “a hookah smoker inhales 100-200 more smoke than an ordinary cigarette smoker.”
“Hookah smokers are prone to far greater risks of developing cancer of the mouth, lungs, throat, stomach, bladder and esophagus, and chronic irritation of the lips, tongue and mouth,” the legislators say.
This initiative has met with heavy support from the United Russia faction in the State Duma.
“I shall vote for banning hookah smoking in public places with both hands. This modern fashion for some obscure reason is considered harmless or less harmless than ordinary smoking. In reality it is a terrible threat to health,” the first deputy leader of the parliamentary majority, member of the health protection committee, Tatyana Yakovleva, told Itar-Tass in an interview earlier.
“Hookah smoke, even once it has been through the water filter, still contains a great amount of carbon oxide particles, salts of heavy metals and chemical compounds of beryllium, chromium, cobalt and nickel,” she said, adding that “hookah smoking may with a high degree of probability cause heart problems and lung cancer.”
The health of non-smokers who are next to hookah smokers suffers serious damage, too, the legislator said.
The State Duma’s committee concerned and the faction will express their attitude to the proposed bill after its thorough examination.