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Proposed Russian Law Hits at Supermarket Cigarette Sales

A bill prohibiting the placement of alcohol and tobacco at the cash registers of Russian supermarkets larger than 50 square meters has entered the State Duma, news agency TASS reported on Wednesday.

Cigarettes are now kept above supermarket cash registers, with available brands printed on the outside, although cartons are not visible. Beer and other alcoholic drinks are often kept in refrigerators near the cash registers.

Under the new bill, the list of available tobacco products would be removed, and alcohol and tobacco would have to be placed a minimum of five feet from cash registers.

The law is meant to discourage customers from buying the alcohol and tobacco as well as minimize the "hidden promotion and advertising" incorporated into the brands' labels, TASS reported, citing the bill.

This bill marks the latest in a series of government crackdowns on tobacco and alcohol. June 2014 saw a smoking ban in restaurants, bars and long-distance trains, while 2012 saw hard liquor banned from sale after 11 p.m. Stricter regulation of alcohol licensing is also currently being prepared, news agency Interfax reported in September.

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