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Russian Bill Banning Public Smoking Submitted to Parliament

Russia submitted an anti-tobacco law to Parliament today as it seeks to curb smoking and overcome opposition from cigarette makers.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev named Deputy Health Minister Sergei Velmyaikin to act as a liaison with lawmakers, according to a document dated Oct. 29 and published today on the government’s website.

“Society will leave the lobbyists no chance,” Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets said in an interview Oct. 18. “We want to live in a comfortable country and be responsible for our own health. In that sense the tobacco law fits the general paradigm of Russia’s development.”

The government in the world’s second-largest market for cigarette producers after China proposed measures that will outlaw all tobacco advertising and sponsorship as well as kiosk sales immediately, with bans on trade in small retail outlets and smoking in public places taking effect Jan. 1, 2015.

Russia, which has also raised alcohol taxes as part of efforts to improve its citizens’ health, wants the law passed this year, according to Golodets.

Philip Morris International Inc., British American Tobacco Plc, Japan Tobacco Inc. and Imperial Tobacco Group Plc, which control 93 percent of the Russian market, hooked women and children on smoking, Medvedev said in a video blog Oct. 16, vowing to crack down on the habit.

BAT, Europe’s largest cigarette maker, fell as much as 0.5 percent and was trading down 0.1 percent at 3,123.5 pence at 1:38 p.m. in London. Imperial, the maker of Davidoff cigarettes that reported higher operating profit today, was up 1.5 percent at 2,367 pence.

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