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Legislation to Limit Garlic Use

Anybody who has ever encountered garlic breath can attest to the dangers of overconsuming the distinctly pungent vegetable, long a staple of Russian cuisine.

But garlic has negative "medical, demographic and socio-economic consequences" too, according to State Duma Deputy Sergei Ivanov, who on Monday introduced a bill aimed at cutting Russians' garlic use, RIA-Novosti reported.

Ivanov's bill would ban garlic from most private and public buildings, including workplaces, apartment buildings, sporting and cultural facilities, and schools and universities.

It would also restrict garlic selling to designated, well-ventilated areas between 10 p.m. and 9 a.m., and bar sales to pregnant women, minors, artists and childcare professionals.

Garlic-lovers would still be able to indulge their malodorous habit outdoors and inside special rooms in residential buildings, according to the text of the bill.

An estimated 40 percent of Russia's adult population, or 44 million people, use garlic, and consumption of the onion cousin affects about 60 percent of Russians, according to explanatory note for the bill.

"[This bill] is an attempt to poke fun at ourselves," Ivanov said. "I simply wanted to show that the Duma has been too preoccupied with passing 'draconian' bills."

The "draconian bills" introduced strict restrictions on tobacco use, dramatically raised fines for illegal demonstrations, and attacked foul language in the media, he said.

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