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New anti-tobacco law to save 200,000 lives in Russia

May 31, 2013, 9:47 UTC+3
On Friday Russia joined other countries around the world to mark the World No Tobacco Day observed every year on May 31
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Photo ITAR-TASS

Photo ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, May 31 (Itar-Tass) - A new anti-tobacco law that enters into force in Russia on June 1 will help save from 150,000 to 200,000 lives, Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said.

On Friday Russia joined other countries around the world to mark the World No Tobacco Day observed every year on May 31.

According to the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Centre (VTSIOM), 35 percent of Russia’s adult population are smokers, of them one in five (22 percent) smokes one pack of cigarettes per day. However, the number of those who gave up smoking is on the rise - from 8 percent to 11 percent over the past several years.

Russia takes active efforts to reduce the number of smokers. For instance, under the new rules, all schoolchildren over 10 years old will be tested for smoking.

The press service of Russia’s Health Ministry said earlier “it is especially important to detect underage smokers, as their level is extremely high in our country.”

Every year up to 400,000 people die of smoking-related diseases. At the same time most cases show that smoking habits develop in childhood.

The World No Tobacco Day was established by the World Health Organization in 1988. According to the WHO, the global tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people every year, of them 600,000 are non-smokers, who die of secondhand smoke. Moreover, 63 percent of all deaths from non-infectious diseases are related to tobacco consumption.

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