The State Duma has passed the "Anti-Smoking Law" in the First Reading

The State Duma has passed in the first reading the government bill "On Protection of Public Health from Exposure to Tobacco Smoke and Smoking Effects", which became even somewhat notorious as the "Antismoking Law". 429 deputies have supported the document, 2 voted against it, there were abstentions.


Note that at the moment the main document that regulates the distribution and consumption of cigarettes in Russia is athe Law 87-FZ "On Restriction of Tobacco Smoking", adopted back in 2001.

The draft law "On Protection of Public Health from Exposure to Tobacco Smoke and Smoking Effects" was developed by the RF Ministry of Healthcare in view of the accession of the Russian Federation to the UN Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) of the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as with regard to the government action plan on implementation the concept of national policy against tobacco use in 2010-2015. Pursuent the draft law, the protection of public health from the effects of tobacco will be provided, in particular, by means  of1:
- measures to prevent exposure to tobacco smoke and reducing tobacco use;
- recording of the production, import, export, wholesale and retail trade in tobacco products, monitoring of production equipment, traffic and distribution of tobacco products;
- prosecution for violation of the RF legislation in the field of human health protection from the effects of tobacco smoking.

In order to prevent the diseases associated with exposure to tobacco smoke and tobacco use and to reduce tobacco consumption in Russia, it is planned to carry out, among others, the following measures:
- prevention of exposure to tobacco smoke;
- price and tax measures2;
- regulation and disclosure of tobacco products contents, establishing requirements for packaging and labeling of tobacco products;
- prohibition of advertising, sponsorship and promotion of tobacco products;
- restriction of production, wholesale and retail trade in tobacco products.

The above bill has caused a lot of disputs among both, market participants of tobacco products, and catering managers. However, it is worth noting that in general, measures of the bill fit into the global healthcare policy and smoking control in the framework of FCTC principles, joined by Russia in mid-January 2008.

WHO FCTC3 was approved and adopted by 192 states at the end of May 2003, and entered into force on February 27, 2005. Today, 153 member-countries in the WHO FCTC.

The FCTC is an international treaty, which includes a list of recommendations of the social (in terms of healthcare) and economic nature, used in the production and circulation of tobacco products. The purpose of the treaty is to reduce the demand for tobacco products and proposals on public health protection. FCTC provides a global framework of public policy in the issues related to smoking for the countries that have ratified the convention. Over time, the governments will update their legal frameworks basing on their own understanding of the FCTC and the country-specific circumstances and priorites4.

Herewith, the FCTC is not a direct instruction and does not contain an exhaustive list of measures to be implemented by its member-contries. The basic provisions of the FCTC cover the following issues: pricing and taxation of tobacco products, protection of  people from tobacco smoke, regulation of tobacco product ingredients, the information requirements for consumers on packaging and advertising, prevention of  illegal trade in tobacco products and sale thereof to minors. However, national governments are free to determine the tax burden, impose restrictions on tobacco advertising and smoking in public places at their own discretion, etc., in accordance with the national Constitution and its principles.

It should be emphasized that, in the framework of smoking control, along with economic mechanisms, an information campaign should be arranged to change public opinion, in particular, through anti-smoking measures and healthy lifestyle promotion, development of sports programs and smooking prevention actions among the population, in other words, promoting the value of a healthy lifestyle in the community, especially among younger generations.

M.V. Kazakova, Ph.D. in Economics, Head of Economic Development Department

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