Aside from meddling in the US election, there’s another thing the Russian Federation seems to be worrying a lot about these days: cigarette smoking.
Russia’s smoking rates are some of the highest in the world, according to the World Health Organization. Now the Russian government, a big fan of banning things, is going to try and ban citizens born after 2015 from buying cigarettes. This would be one of the world’s strictest smoking bans, and Bhutan was the only other nation I could find that outlawed cigarette sales completely.
The ban proposal obtained by Russian newspaper Izvestia would go into effect in 2033, when the affected Russian citizens (now babies) turn eighteen years old. Russia’s legal smoking age is eighteen, so the law would ensure that those born in 2015 and later could never legally purchase cigarettes. It comes as part of a broader effort to combat smoking from 2017 to 2022 and beyond, according to the Izvestia report. The goal is to lower the country’s smoking rate to 25 per cent by 2025, and to drive it down even further later. The proposal also claims that tobacco consumption fell from 39 per cent in 2009 to 33 per cent in 2016.
Some, like Elena Topoleva-Soldunova of the Russian public chamber, worry that the ban could lead to counterfeit tobacco. Others, like Russian politician Nikolai Gerasimenko, approved of the ban but were unsure how it could possibly be enforced, according to The Times.
In the meantime—before those no longer allowed to smoke come of the age where they definitely can’t legally smoke—the proposal also includes adding laws restricting the locations where people can smoke. Russian cigarette packages now have graphic warning labels, as well. Nevertheless, a 2010 WHO survey found that 12 per cent of Russian fifteen year olds smoked daily, and it remains unclear how effective a ban will be so long as cigarettes are still widely accessible to the country’s youth population.
But still, news about Russia that doesn’t involve hacking is always nice.
Russian translations provided by Gizmodo editor Marina Galperina [Izvestia]