Moscow to Allow Smoking at Some Outdoor Cafes

Moscow authorities announced on Wednesday that smoking will be allowed in some outdoor cafes despite a national ban on smoking in restaurants, the city-connected M24.ru news site reported.

Smoking on outdoor terraces will be allowed only if such premises are not enclosed, Alexei Nemeryuk, head of the city's department of trade and services, told the news site.

City authorities are still determining which outdoor cafes could allow smoking on their premises, according to M24.ru. This summer's first seasonal outdoor cafes are set to open on April 1, the Lenta.ru news site reported.

Some 2,000 summer cafes were operating in Moscow last summer, 120 of which were located in pedestrian zones, M24.ru reported. Another 90 cafes were in parks around the city.

In February 2013, President Vladimir Putin approved legislation that banned smoking in public places, forbade the advertising of tobacco products and required graphic labels on cigarette packs.

The legislation has been in effect since June 2013, but a number of its provisions — including a ban on smoking in restaurants, trains and hotels — did not come into effect until last summer.

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