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World Lung Foundation Congratulates Russian Government on New National Tobacco Control Law

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Comprehensive legislation could save millions of lives and be a model for Eastern Europe

(New York, USA) – World Lung Foundation (WLF) today congratulated the Russian Federation for passing comprehensive new tobacco control laws. The legislation passed in both houses of parliament and was signed on February 23 by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The new law includes the establishment of smoke-free laws; new restrictions on point of sale and displaying tobacco, advertising, promotion and sponsorship agreements; and measures to restrict tobacco industry interference in public health policy.

Smoke-free Russia and Sales Restrictions

Under the legislation, from June 1, 2013, 100% smoke free policies will be implemented in educational, medical, cultural and sport facilities, all government buildings, elevators and stairwells of apartment buildings, public transportation and airports and all public playgrounds and beaches. From June 1, 2014, smoke-free zones will be extended to hospitality venues – including hotels, cafes, bars and restaurants – and shopping areas and long distance trains.

In addition, sales of tobacco products will be banned in all educational, medical, cultural, and sports facilities; in rail stations, airports and other transportation hubs; and within 100 meters of educational institutions.

Limiting Tobacco Marketing and Lobbying

Also under the new legislation, from 2013, tobacco companies will be banned from providing free giveaways, undertaking brand stretching activities, or sponsoring events, activities, or individuals. Cigarette displays will be banned from 2014 and shopkeepers will not be allowed to display price lists with logos, colors or other decorative elements. Also from 1 June, 2014, any audiovisual presentation - TV program, video film, movie or documentary -that shows tobacco products or a scene containing depictions of smoking, must be accompanied by Tobacco Control Public Service Announcements to warn viewers about the adverse effect of tobacco products.

Further provisions mean that correspondence between the tobacco industry and government officials or agencies will have to be posted publicly online.

Peter Baldini, Chief Executive Officer, World Lung Foundation, commented: “It is not an understatement to say that this law could begin to reverse a catastrophic epidemic of tobacco-related death and disease in Russia. Moreover, Russia’s influence could prompt action throughout a region where tobacco use is rampant.”

“We congratulate the Government of Russia for passing a comprehensive package of legislation that will benefit smokers, non-smokers, men, women and children. The restrictions on tobacco industry marketing will help stem the flow of misinformation spread by the tobacco industry. We are convinced that once this legislation is implemented and enforced it will help to save the lives of millions of Russian citizens immediately and well into the future.”

Building support for tobacco control

In 2012, the Russian Government ran hard-hitting national mass media campaigns to support smoke-free laws and other critical tobacco control measures that now will become part of the up-coming Russian law. The national campaign used prominent Russian doctors to show the terrible health effects of smoking on babies and on patients with heart and lung disease in the operating room. A line from the ads showed the doctors saying to the camera: "You didn't believe me when I told you, now I am going to show you."

About Tobacco Use in Russia

According to World Health Organization’s Global Adult Tobacco Survey, 40 per cent of Russian adults smoke tobacco, with 60 per cent of males (30.6 million people) and 22 per cent of females (13.3 million people) identifying as current smokers. This means Russia has one of the highest rates of tobacco use in the world. More than half of Russian adults are exposed to secondhand smoke in public places and Russia loses 400,000 people a year to smoking, with 30 per cent of male deaths and four per cent of female deaths related to tobacco use.

About World Lung Foundation

World Lung Foundation was established in response to the global epidemic of lung disease, which kills 10 million people each year. The organization also works on maternal and infant mortality reduction initiatives. WLF improves global health by improving local health capacity, by supporting operational research, by developing public policy and by delivering public education. The organization’s areas of emphasis are tobacco control, maternal and infant mortality prevention, tuberculosis, asthma, and child lung health. For more information, please visit

For more information, please contact Jorge Alday, World Lung Foundation, at +1.212.639.0070 or

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