MOSCOW, May 31 (Itar-Tass) - Russia will observe World No Tobacco Day on Friday, a day before its ant-tobacco law comes into force.
According to the Russian polling agency VCIOM, some 35 percent of Russians are smokers. Moreover, each fifth Russian (22 percent) smokes at least a pack of cigarettes a day. But the number of those who quitted smoking is growing - from eight to 11 percent.
A lot of measures are being taken in Russia to popularize no-smoking life styles. Thus, schoolchildren older than ten are subject to smoking tests during annual medical examination. According to the Russian ministry of health, up to 400,000 people die annually from diseases provoked by smoking and in the majority of cases people begin to smoke in childhood.
Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova expressed the hope that the new anti-tobacco law that comes into force from June 1 will help save from 150,000 to 200,000 human lives a year.
World Tobacco Day was established by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1987. It is observed around the world every year on May 31. It is meant to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption across the globe. The day is further intended to draw global attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to negative health impacts, which currently lead to about six million deaths worldwide annually, including more than 600,000 no-smokers who die because of fatal impacts of tobacco smoke. Apart from that, a total of 63 percent of deaths from non-infectious diseases stem from the use of tobacco.