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Russia: Total Ban on Tobacco Advertisement

(Feb. 2, 2008) On January 10, 2007, the Government of the Russian Federation adopted the Resolution on Joining the Framework Convention of the World Health Organization on the Fight Against Tobacco and issued a resolution recommending that the State Duma (legislature) pass all necessary implementing laws. The Convention requires the introduction of a total ban on advertising that stimulates sales or displays sponsorship of tobacco products. This requirement must be met within a five-year period after ratification of the Convention. A National Strategy on the Fight Against Tobacco, the elaboration of which is required of Member States by the Convention, has already been prepared by the Russian authorities. The establishment of a national office to coordinate anti-tobacco efforts is foreseen in the strategy document. These measures are accompanied by a heavy tax on and mandatory price increases for tobacco products and a ban on smoking at work, in public places, and on public transportation. Newly accepted requirements state that warnings about the dangers of smoking are to cover no less than 30 percent of the tobacco package surface. Special measures aimed at strengthening control of contraband tobacco products will be introduced. The Convention will enter into force 90 days after submission of the ratification instruments. (Fight against Tobacco Will Have a Positive Impact [in Russian], NEWSRU.COM, Jan. 11, 2008.)