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Russia Pulls In More Than $500K in Fines From Rebel Smokers

Since January, more than half a million dollars (17.4 million rubles) in fines have been collected from smokers evading Russia's crackdown on cigarettes, the Federal Consumer Protection Service announced on Sunday.

The month of June alone saw the issuance of 8 million rubles in fines. Over 2,700 fines have been handed out since January.

Russia's newly bolstered anti-smoking legislation, part of a wider government campaign to change the public's attitude to smoking and promote a healthier lifestyle, has been implemented in stages since it was passed last summer.

The first stage saw smoking banned near public places like schools, hospitals, stores and playgrounds in the summer of 2013.

The ban was then expanded to include train stations, hotels, restaurants and cafes on June 1 this year.

Of those slapped with fines so far this year, 1,800 were individuals, more than 700 individual sellers of tobacco products and about 150 legal entities, the agency said, RIA Novosti reported.

See also:

Smoking Ban Costs Russian Cafes 20% of Revenues, Report Says

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