Putin signs anti-smoking law banning public smoking in Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a smoking ban bill into law, the Kremlin said Monday.

The law bans smoking in public places, including bars, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, stadiums and train stations, reported Xinhua.

It will also ban sales of tobacco products at street kiosks from June 1, 2014, and set minimum prices for cigarettes which now cost 50 to 60 roubles a pack (less than $2). Advertising and sponsorship of tobacco is also prohibited under the law.

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin

The State Duma, or lower house of the parliament, approved the bill on February 12 and the Federation Council, the upper house, passed it on February 20.

The law will ban smoking in some public places such as subways and schools from June 1, and come into force a year later in other places including restaurants and cafes.

The Kremlin said Putin had signed the law on Saturday but did not announce it until Monday. It said the law was intended to bring Russia into line with a World Health Organization tobacco control treaty that Moscow ratified in 2008.

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