The second part of Russia’s anti-tobacco law came into force yesterday, extending public-places tobacco smoking bans to include, for instance, restaurants, hotels and railway platforms, according to an ITAR-TASS story.
Ashtrays and hookas are due to disappear from cafés and bars and their places to be taken by no-smoking signs.
People caught smoking in a café will face a fine of RUB500–1,500. Individual restaurant owners will face fines of RUB30,000–40,000, while commercial owners could be fined RUB50,000–90,000.
“In fact, we are only starting to live according to civilized anti-tobacco laws which work in many other countries,” said State Duma deputy Vyacheslav Timchenko. “But we already have the first results. Sociological surveys show that for the first time in post-Soviet years, Russia’s tobacco consumption has been on the decline.”
The first part of the anti-tobacco law came into force on June 1, 2013, when tobacco smoking was outlawed in a large range of enclosed and nonenclosed public places, including office buildings that did not have special rooms equipped for smoking.
According to the deputy head of the Russian State Duma Committee for Public Health, Nikolai Gerasimenko, the introduction of the anti-tobacco law reduced cigarette sales in the first quarter of 2014 by 16 billion packs.
“About 30,000 penalties for the violation of anti-tobacco laws have been imposed in Moscow since Nov. 15, 2013,” he said. “The figure for Russia is about 100,000 penalties.”