MOSCOW, April 4 (Itar-Tass) —— The system of control over the execution of the anti-smoking legislation should be toughened, primarily through higher fines, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Science and Science-Intensive Technologies Nikolai Gerasimenko said on Wednesday.
“Now the fines for smoking at unauthorized places are very small that make up to 100 roubles,” the deputy noted. The Russian authorities should introduce amendments in the Russian Code of Administrative Offence and introduce a fine for smoking at unauthorized places from 1,000 to 5,000 roubles, he said.
Gerasimenko also recalled that “the Health Ministry is developing a draft law to protect people from the aftermaths of smoking and the Russian government is expected to submit the bill in the State Duma before the end of the year.” According to him, the introduction of these rules in Russia is dictated by Russia’s joining the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. “The smokers should be permitted to smoke only at special places or at home,” Gerasimenko noted. Meanwhile, he noted that the anti-smoking rules in Russia will be brought closer to the world rules, for instance, the restaurants will not be divided in the halls for smokers and non-smokers.
The first deputy chairman of the committee recalled that Russia is the world leader in per capita tobacco consumption and is ranked second after China in the absolute figures. “Some two trillions and 264 billions of cigarettes are consumed in China every year, the United States ranked third with 315 billion cigarettes every year, then Indonesia, Japan and India are coming in the rating,” Gerasimenko cited these statistical figures.
Meanwhile, he noted that the tobacco consumption has been going down by 12 billion cigarettes in Russia for the last three years as a result of anti-smoking efforts in the country thanks to the cuts in the production of tobacco products and the propaganda in the media. “But this pace of reduction is not high,” the deputy acknowledged. The world should give up smoking completely in the twenty-first century, Gerasimenko believes. “In several islanded countries not only the smoking, but also the sale of cigarettes is banned. For instance, children in Singapore born in the nineties are put a stamp in the passport for the ban on tobacco sale,” he pointed out. These measures can be imitated from Russia, even partially, Gerasimenko said with confidence.