Russia is considering banning the sale of cigarettes to anyone born after 2015. This move is an attempt to eventually make Russia tobacco-free.
The Russian Health Minister has announced that he is considering banning cigarettes to anyone born after 2015. This would make Russia the first country to take such a large step against tobacco use.
Russia and Tobacco
Russia has been tolerant of smoking for a long time and the first public restriction it enforced on tobacco was only in 2013.
However, since then legislation that has been introduced have been considerably harsher.
There have also been concerns that “fake tobacco” is being sold on the black market, making smoking an even larger health risk in Russia.
According to Tass news agency, Russia had already seen a drop of 10 percent of the smoking population in 2016- dropping from 41 percent to just 31 percent of the population.
This marks the country’s lowest rate of smokers in years. According to a Russian expert, if planned measures go smoothly, this percentage will be dropping to just 5 percent in 2030.
“The law provides for a ban on advertising and sponsorship, and imposes restrictions on smoking in public places. Experts believe that the smoking ban in public places has made the biggest contribution to Russia’s falling tobacco consumption rate. That is why we are very cautious about the appearance of electronic cigarettes,” said a health ministry official.
Public Reaction to the Announcement
Many people, even among the proposal’s advocates, are doubtful of the practicality of any law that enforces a ban on selling to an entire generation of people.
A Kremlin spokesman said careful and serious consideration and consultation with other ministries would be required for such a ban. Many also worry of the response of tobacco companies.
However, many still maintain that the proposal is a good idea. According to The Times, Nikolai Gerasimenko, a member of Russian parliament’s health committee said: “This goal is absolutely ideologically correct.”