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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

Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the city’s elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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