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Nationwide Smoking Ban Comes Into Effect

Published: June 1, 2014 (Issue # 1813)



  • Russian business owners who allow smoking on their premises are liable for fines of up to 90,000 rubles ($2,578).
    Photo: Ken Hawkins / Flickr

At 12:01 a.m. on June 1, a nationwide smoking ban in all enclosed public places went into effect across Russia.

The ban comes after smoking was prohibited in a number of public places including, at schools and universities, cultural and sporting organizations, beaches, stadiums, playgrounds, hospitals and in the offices of public organizations on June 1, 2013. Fines began to be introduced for smoking in these places from Nov. 15, 2013.

The newest restriction now forbids smoking in any public space, including hotels, restaurants and cafes, bars, trains and ships. Previously, restaurants and cafes were able to offer non-smoking sections and remain in compliance with the law. From today, patrons will only be allowed to smoke outdoors.

Business owners who allow smoking on their premises are now liable for fines of up to 90,000 rubles ($2,578). Smokers will be fined from 500 to 1,500 rubles ($14.32 to $42.98) for breaking the law.

The new law also regulates the way in which tobacco products can be sold and displayed. From June 1, cigarettes may be sold only in licensed shops and they may no longer be displayed. The law on sales is expected to have the greatest negative impact on small business owners who operate kiosks, which are no longer permitted to offer cigarettes for sale.

Russian legislation follows similar laws which have been enacted in many parts of the world over the past several decades.

A Gallup poll of over 26,500 Europeans conducted in December 2008 found "a majority of EU citizens support smoking bans in public places, such as offices, restaurants and bars." The poll also found that "support for workplace smoking restrictions is slightly higher than support for such restrictions in restaurants (84% vs. 79%). Two-thirds support smoke-free bars, pubs and clubs."





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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