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Health Ministry says smoking rooms can appear on trains

September 03, 2012, 20:19 UTC+3

The anti-tobacco law bans smoking on trains from 2016

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MOSCOW, September 3 (Itar-Tass) — The Russian Ministry of Health and Social Development is considering the possibility of helping nicotine-addicted people on long-distance trains.

Deputy Minister of Health and Social Development Sergei Velmyaikin said at a press conference on Monday, September 3, that special smoking rooms may appear on trains after the entry into force of the anti-tobacco legislation, or passengers will be provided with nicotine-containing preparations.

“There are trains that are on the way for several days. Different options can be considered by the time the ban takes effect,” he said.

The anti-tobacco law bans smoking on trains from 2016.

According to the draft law on the protection of people’s health from the effects of tobacco consumption, submitted by the ministry to the government, smoking restrictions will be introduced gradually: some of them will take effect upon the entry into force of the law, others will become effective from July 1, 2014 and from January 1, 2016.

Haik Nikogosian, Head of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Secretariat, said at the talks at the Ministry of Health and Social Development the earlier this year that this is one of the comprehensive laws he had ever seen and if it was adopted, the Convention Secretariat would like it to be made known internationally.

He believes that the draft law is a fine example of how the provisions of the Convention can be translated into the letters of the law.

For the time being, the ban on smoking in public catering facilities is not obligatory until the law on the protection of the population from the consequences of tobacco smoking, drafted by the Ministry of Health and Social Development, becomes effective.

Specialists say that a ban on smoking in public places, including restaurants and cafes is necessary. Samples of air taken in such places show that the concentration of hazardous particles in the air is 22 times higher than allowed.

The ministry suggests banning smoking in public places and tobacco advertising, including on public transport from 2014, in hotels, cafes and nightclubs from 2015.

The scale of tobacco smoking and the spread of tobacco-related diseases in Russia continue to grow. Despite the annual decrease in the population, cigarette consumption grows every year. From 2000 to 2005 cigarette consumption increased by 30 percent from 287 billion in 2000 to 375 billion in 2005. This causes serious damage to the health of the population since tobacco consumption is one of the main factors leading to the development of cardiovascular, bronchopulmonary and gastrointestinal diseases. For example, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the main cause of which is smoking, has risen in the structure of mortality in Russia over the past five years from 12th to 4th place. Lung cancer, which is caused by smoking in 90 percent of cases, affects about 50,000 men annually.

In 2008 the Duma passed the technical regulation on tobacco to bring the federal law “On the Limitation of Tobacco Smoking” in line with the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

The document seeks to increase governmental control and supervision over compliance by tobacco producers with tobacco product requirements, improve public awareness of tobacco hazards, reduce the negative effects of tobacco on smokers, and prevent the adverse impact of passive smoking on non-smokers.



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