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MOSCOW, September 23. /ITAR-TASS/. An overwhelming majority of Russian cafes and restaurants are obeying the anti-tobacco law, according to the result of monitoring conducted by Consumers International, an international consortium of consumer-advocacy groups that promotes the rights and interests of consumers, which were made public on Tuesday.
The monitoring demonstrated that as many as 93.7% of cafes and restaurants subject to inspections observed the anti-smoking ban. In the remaining 6.3% of public catering establishments, the ban had been violated due to both the owner’s fault and the lack of law obedience in customers. Ashtrays had been found in five percent of public catering establishments.
More violations were reported in the hospitality sector. Violations were exposed in 33.9% of inspected hotels. Ashtrays were found in 32.1% of hotels. More than a fourth of inspected hotels offered rooms for smokers or had smoking rooms.
The anti-tobacco law in Russia came into force on June 1, 2013, immediately after the World No Tobacco Day. Starting from June 1, 2013, smoking was prohibited in public places, at hospitals, schools, cultural and sports facilities, in administrative buildings, airports, offices and staircases in dwelling houses. Starting from June 1, 2014, the ban became effective for long-distance trains and vessels, platforms, hotels, markets and shops. Smoking is also banned in restaurants, cafes and bars. Apart from that, the law prohibits placing tobacco advertising in the mass media and in shops. It is prohibited to stage outdoor tobacco advertising and promotion campaigns or to sponsor such campaigns. It also raises tobacco excises and sets minimum selling prices for cigarettes.
Cigarette production in Russia has dropped after an anti-tobacco law came into force, Nikolay Gerasimenko, a deputy chairman of the health committee of the Russian State Duma, said on Tuesday, adding that the popularity of smoking was also going down.
“Cigarette production has decreased,” he told a news conference. “The process began three years ago but proceeded rather slowly — by not more than three percent a year. The biggest slump in production took place in the first quarter of 2014 after excise duties had been raised.”
Gerasimenko cited results of opinion polls conducted by WCIOM polling agency: the number of smokers had decreased by seven percent in the first six months of the current year. “It is a very serious figure,” he said, noting that the smoking ban in public places had made some smokers drop this bad habit.