The State Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament has passed (with an overwhelming majority) sweeping anti-smoking legislation. The law, if passed by the Federal Council will ban smoking in many public areas as well as impose heavy restrictions on the display and advertising of traditional cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes, on the other hand won't have any advertising restrictions. All sales of e-cigarettes will be banned according to the Moscow News.
Tobacco lovers will also have to cope without electronic cigarettes and some chewing tobacco mixes, the sales of which will be prohibited under the new rules.
Most of the rules comie into force on June 1, 2013, while the rest are to come into effect in June 2014.
The bill has been put on the Federation Council’s agenda for February 20, Svetlana Orlova, vice-speaker for the upper house of the parliament, told RIA Novosti on Tuesday. “I have no doubts that it will be supported unanimously,” she added.
Perhaps an alternate headline to this story is “WHO poised to kill millions of Russians”. Russia is kind of big on smoking, with an estimated 40% of adults in the country lighting up. e-cigarettes had begun to catch on. However, since the WHO’s anti-tobacco framework strongly encouraged countries to ban e-cigarettes, that's just what the Duma did. Apparently with nary a word of protest. Here's hoping vapers in that country can make some sort of impact to get the e-cigarette provision dropped, within the next week.