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Onishchenko Backs Tough Anti-Smoking Bill

Chief sanitary doctor Gennady Onishchenko said a tough anti-smoking bill should become law despite opposition from business groups, Interfax reported on Thursday.

Restaurateurs and retailers should not be allowed to derail the bill, which many of them oppose, Onishchenko said.

The bill includes a ban on smoking in public places, a minimum price for cigarettes and restrictions on the sale of tobacco products in retail units smaller than 50 square meters.

Forty percent of Russian adults smoke, one of highest proportions in the world.

The bill is due to be debated in the Public Chamber on Nov. 2.

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