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11 Jan, 2008 12:26

Russia combats smoking culture

Russia is on course to introduce a series of bans aimed at fighting one of the country's biggest killers – smoking. The government will sign up to the measures by joining the World Health Organisation's Convention on tobacco control.

Within five years all tobacco advertising and sponsorship will be outlawed throughout Russia.

In three years, cigarette packets will no longer have the labels ‘lights’ or ‘super-lights’.  Campaigners say such signs are deceptive and could make smokers think some kinds of cigarettes reduce the risks to their health.

In Russia the problem is particularly serious as nearly half the nation smokes, according to official statistics.

It's estimated that about half-a-million people die every year from cigarette related diseases.