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MOSCOW, October 9 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s teen smoking has reduced considerably over the past ten years. This is largely a result of growing wealth, promotion of healthy lifestyle infrastructures and restrictions on teenagers’ access to tobacco, the chief of the North-Western Council for the problem of teen smoking, Anna Sorochinskaya, told a news conference at Itar-Tass.
“Restricting teenagers’ access to cigarettes is one of the key factor for struggle against teen smoking. We have been working in cooperation with both large and small retailers for many years and we can see considerable progress,” the analyst said. She pointed out that the findings of both international organizations and the council’s own research confirmed this.
According to the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and other Drugs, the number of smoking teenagers has been on the decline in 36 European countries, including Russia, over the past twelve years.
In Moscow the number of smoking children has been down to 31 percent in 2011 from 48 percent in 1999, when the survey was held for the first time.
“Russia’s index is neither the highest, nor the lowest, but the number of smoking teenagers has been steady on the decline. There are only six such countries in Europe, and we see this as a result of our own efforts, Sorochinskaya said.
She shared the results of research and test purchases in Krasnoyarsk and Chelyabinsk. In both cities the number of retailers who demand the buyers of tobacco should present the passport has doubled, and the awareness of the new law banning the sale of tobacco products to persons under age is close to 100 percent. However, there have been more cases of adults buying tobacco for teenagers.
“Regrettably, such adults cannot be brought to justice, but we shall be pressing for a revision of legislation and for introducing criminal punishment for buying cigarettes for teenagers. There can be no compromises here,” Sorochinskaya said.