Widespread Defiance Predicted for Russia's Smoking Ban

Try vodka next and see what happens


As of June 1, smoking in Russia has been banned in offices, work zones, public buildings, schools, medical institutions, entranceways, elevators, children's play areas, on public transport, beaches, and inside or anywhere within 50 feet of an entrance to subways, airports and rail stations. The sale of cigarettes is prohibited inside a 330-feet radius of educational establishments. …

Only 8 percent of those surveyed by the Levada Center, a sociological research organization, are confident that the ban on smoking in public places will be fully observed. Thirty-two percent believe that a ban cannot work in principle, but 54 percent think that it will be partially observed.

In an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the head of the Moscow police, Anatoly Yakunin, admitted that, at present, there is no mechanism to deal with violations of the tobacco control law. "We hope that they [smokers] will prove to be conscientious and gradually begin to comply with the law, although we do have certain doubts," said Yakunin. "There will be a transitional period, during which we will limit ourselves more to verbal warnings."

Andrei Loskutov, executive director of the All-Russian Movement for Smokers' Rights, believes that the new law creates "humiliating conditions of existence for all smokers in Russia."