MOSCOW, November 6. /TASS/. A Russian lawmaker plans to initiate a bill banning to sell tobacco to persons younger than 21, the Izvestia daily writes on Thursday.
The current law prohibits to sell tobacco to persons younger than 18.
Sergei Poddubny, the first deputy chairman of the committee for physical culture, sport and youth affairs of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house, the initiator of the stricter ban, also plans to raise the issue of poor performance of the current anti-tobacco law.
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 at 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.
“The law banning smoking in public places is actually not working… At a next plenary week starting from November 10, we will have a meeting of our committee, where I will suggest a roundtable meeting be organized on issues of the implementation of the anti-tobacco law. We will also discuss the initiative to ban tobacco selling to persons younger than 21,” Poddubny said.
Lawmaker Nikolai Valuev, a former professional boxer, voiced support to this initiative. “As a lawmaker, I will support this bill. I think this is a right and useful initiative. But I am afraid it would not be an easy task to see to it that this law is observed,” he told Izvestia.
The idea of raising the age of buying tobacco to 21 was first voiced in late 2013 by Yebgevy Bryun, the chief narcologist of the Russian health ministry.
In late October, Vyacheslav Fetisov, a retired professional ice hockey defenseman and now a members of the Federation Council upper parliament house, came out with an initiative to raise the age of buying alcohol from 18 to 21. Bills banning to sell alcohol and tobacco to persons younger than 21 have been submitted to the State Duma more than once but were turned down each time.