Russian government adopts WHO plan for anti-tobacco campaign
Prime Minister Putin said the adoption by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of a framework convention against tobacco and smoking was a key event for Russia. Speaking at the 60th session of the European Regional Committee of WHO in Moscow, he said that the standards laid down in the WHO document will be fully incorporated into Russian law. In order to do this, he said, a bill has already been drafted and adopted. He also announced that in 2011 the first international conference on healthy living will be held in Moscow.
The Chairman of the board of the International Confederation of Consumer Societies, Dmitry Yanin, said that the adoption of such legislation could every year save the lives of a minimum of 80-100,000 Russians who would have died from smoking-related diseases. He noted that the introduction of the legislation envisages five specific steps to be taken by the Russian government. These include raising the taxes on cigarettes significantly (Yanin thinks that the decision to raise them by 2.2 roubles with effect from 2011 already looks inadequate). Raising the price of cigarettes by 10% could result in a reduction in smoking of 4-8%. Another measure would be a complete ban on advertising of tobacco products and sponsorship of public events by tobacco companies. The Confederation is convinced that partial bans would still allow producers to attract young people and women to smoking. A ban on smoking in public places and at work, making the sale of cigarettes illegal apart from in major shops, and licensing their sale, should also be done. Cigarette packets should carry graphic warnings about the consequences of smoking. The Confederation considers that the design should be decided by a working group of the Eurasian Economic Community during the drafting of technical regulations on safety in tobacco production. The experts envisage covering half of the surface of packets on both sides with pictures showing the consequences of smoking – lung cancer, gangrene, cancer of the lip, etc.
Olesia Batog (International Confederation of Consumer Societies): phone (499) 124-89-55, +7-909-900-15-21, ???¬????‚??: www.stoptabak.org