Federation Council Approves Anti-Smoking Bill

The Federation Council approved on Wednesday an anti-smoking bill that will ban smoking in most public places and facilities.

The bill, passed Wednesday, now needs only the president's signature to become law.

The bill received approval from 125 senators. Four senators voted against and six abstained, Itar-Tass reported.

The anti-smoking legislation envisages banning smokers from lighting up in educational institutions, government buildings, short-distance forms of public transportation and in parks from June.

Tobacco companies will also be banned from advertising, and stores will be required to keep tobacco products out of sight.

Meanwhile, a VTsIOM survey published on the center's website Wednesday showed that most Russians approve of the measures set forth in the new law, with the largest percentage of people — 79 percent — expressing support for the ban on tobacco advertisements.

Seventy-six percent of respondents said they support the ban on smoking in public places, and 60 percent for the ban on kiosk sales of cigarettes.

Respondents were divided, however, on whether the new law would actually reduce the amount of smokers in the country, with 47 percent saying the new legislation would help and 46 percent saying it probably wouldn't.

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