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Zhirinovsky Promises to Kick Smokers Out of Party

In a vehement show of support for the impending anti-smoking law, Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky has promised to expel all smokers from his party, a news report said Tuesday.

Zhirinovsky made the declaration at a State Duma session for the third reading of the bill, which introduces a range of anti-smoking measures, including fines for anyone smoking in public places.

"In the Liberal Democratic Party, no one smokes, and those who do — we'll throw them out. And nobody drinks alcohol and there's no sort of debauchery," Zhirinovsky said in comments carried by Lenta.ru.

Zhirinovsky urged smokers to "go in their car and poison themselves, or go in their apartment and poison themselves" if they want to smoke.

He also confessed that he started smoking only at 50 years of age. In 2006, he promised to quit, telling the New Region newspaper that there was a secret ban on smoking within his party.

The anti-smoking law, which was already approved in its second reading, sets a ban on smoking in public places, including in restaurants and cafes, educational institutions and on public transportation.

At the third reading, set to take place Tuesday, deputies will determine the amount of fines to be issued for violations of the law. Earlier reports said the amount would be 3,000 rubles, though that was not officially confirmed.

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