Russian Health Ministry officials want to expand dramatically the list of places where smoking is prohibited.
The new government project would include a complete ban on smoking in communal apartments, within 10 feet of public transportation stops, in underground and overground walkways, within 10 feet of shopping malls, and “in private vehicles in the presence of children.”
The Health Ministry also wants to prohibit smoking “in the presence of anyone who objects to the consumption of tobacco products, regardless of the type of premises.” Furthermore, officials want to ban vaping and hookahs in public eateries.
Finally, Russia’s Health Ministry says the country should raise taxes on cigarettes to bring the costs up to average European levels, and impose restrictions on packaging designs, prohibiting any trademarks or colorful advertising.
In the past several years, health officials have reported falling numbers of smokers in Russia. In October 2017, Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova reported that there are three times fewer Russian young people smoking now than in 2009. The number of adult smokers in Russia is also reportedly one third lower.