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27 Dec, 2018 13:03

Russia devises plan to eradicate tobacco sales (but don’t panic yet, smokers)

Russia devises plan to eradicate tobacco sales (but don’t panic yet, smokers)

Russia’s Health Ministry has prepared a comprehensive plan for how it wants to completely eradicate tobacco products in the country.

The draft document, officially dubbed “Concept for implementing state policy to counter consumption of tobacco,” will eventually get cigarettes out of Russian shops, health officials say, “which will ensure maximum decrease of mortality from tobacco-related diseases”. It would be a great boon to national healthcare, since each year some 500,000 Russians die of such causes, they say.

Tobacco addicts however should not panic just now. The ministry says the plan will decrease smoking by 0.5 percent points a year, resulting in about 5 percent of people still affected by the habit in 30 years. Then tobacco products would gradually be phased out of stores.

The government is currently trying to disincentivize smokers by slowly raising excise duty. In previous years, restrictions on smoking in public areas and displaying cigarettes in shops were imposed in Russia.

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