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Cigarette Makers Wage Final Battle to Tame Russian Bill

Cigarette makers including Philip Morris International Inc. and British American Tobacco Plc are fighting a last-ditch battle against a smoking crackdown in Russia, with three weeks left to change the government’s mind.

Russia should scale back the proposal that would ban smoking in public places, tobacco sponsorship and cigarette sales in kiosks, Alexander Shokhin, head of the Union of Industrialists, a lobby group for big business, said yesterday. Government legal advisers in August reversed their original approval of the anti-tobacco bill, recommending changes to the planned measures.