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Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Ministry of health is ready to retreat under a hail of criticism of his anti-Smoking initiatives

The Ministry of health, it seems, did not expect to meet such a violent rejection of their anti-Smoking ideas. The Agency decided to change the project in which, in particular, the proposed ban to sell cigarettes to everyone who was born after 2014, and to extend the working day for those who goes on a smoke break. The Plenipotentiary of the government in KS Michael Barshchevsky said the newspaper VIEW that such ideas do need to discuss to psychiatrists.

The draft concept of state policy on combating Smoking in the years 2017-2022 will be finalized, promised Monday night to “Interfax” the representative of the Ministry of health of Russia Oleg Salagay. “This document is the design: it will be modified taking into account the positions expressed by the Federal bodies of Executive power,” he said.

“Do not be nervous disorders in those who smoke?”

According to Salaga, the project envisages a ban on the sale of tobacco products to individuals born after 2015, a total ban on tobacco consumption in communal apartments, at bus stops and in public transport, in a private vehicle in the presence of children, in underground and overground pedestrian crossings. “It is also unacceptable will be Smoking in the presence of the persons objecting to the use of tobacco, regardless of the type of room,” said the Ministry spokesman.

The concept also intends to equate electronic cigarettes to ordinary in regulation, to increase the area warning about the dangers of Smoking on cigarette packs and strengthen the responsibility for violation of the restrictions and the violation of prohibitions in the field of trade in tobacco products. Invalid will be Smoking in the presence of the persons objecting to the use of tobacco, regardless of type of room.

In addition, as reported by the newspaper VIEW, the Ministry of health offers to give employers a chance to increase the duration of the working day smokers in proportion of time spent on breaks for cigarettes.

The Kremlin is not and cannot be any position on the proposed concept, as it is a departmental initiative, said the press Secretary of the Russian President, Dmitry Peskov, noting that such proposals may be submitted, but are subject to serious discussion. According to him, such proposals require very serious consideration and taking into account a sufficiently large number of points of view and not just the perspective of one Department, RIA “Novosti”.

The fact that the ban on the purchase of tobacco products is retained even in adult age, has already raised questions from lawyers, since such measures may constitute discrimination on the grounds of age, which is prohibited at the constitutional level.

The Plenipotentiary of the government in the higher courts Mikhail Barshchevsky has expressed confidence, that such rules, as, for example, a lifetime ban on sales to Russians born after 2015, “will never be imposed.” “Some of the provisions of this concept it is necessary to consult not only the Federal authorities, but from fellow psychiatrists. I can’t make a diagnosis because not an expert – Barshchevsky said the newspaper VIEW. But I’d have to check what consequences it may lead? Do not be nervous disorders in those who smoke?”

In turn, the Deputy Director of the research Institute of public health, Semashko, Alexander Lindenbraten theoretically supports the struggle with the “smoke breaks”, but it is unclear how and who will document all the smoke breaks for employees. “I have a vague idea how to implement this measure in practice. And in General I don’t like that we have a whole policy of struggle against Smoking goes the way of the negative control, that is, prohibitions, penalties. It is better not to punish smokers, but to encourage the non-smokers. It is better not to deal with smokers, try to do, to not start Smoking. The concept should not be about how to ruin the life of a smoker person,” he said.

The doctor reminded about a study that proved that Smoking affects the productivity, not only from the standpoint of the time factor, “but from the deterioration of the health of smokers”.

“For example, some firms are already going to a difference in payment. But another thing – how the lengthening of the working day for smokers will affect the labor code, which provides certain working hours? There is a legal issue that must be solved, not to get a violation of human rights from the position of the length of the working week,” admitted the medic in an interview with the newspaper LOOK.

Lindenbraten complained that coercion remind him of the anti-alcohol decree of 1985. “This led to what began to develop moonshine, used alcohol substitutes, etc. are Now restrictive measures have ensured that slightly decreased the number of smokers. But some decrease is not something to create a concept. Requires a principled decision”, – said], adding that such concepts “we are unlikely to achieve strategic success”.

The proposal of the Ministry of health to ban the sale of tobacco to people born in 2015 and later, it looks crude, said TASS, the head of the Duma Committee on health Dmitry Morozov. “I think it’s all pretty damp. All this requires discussion, reflection,” – said the MP. Speaking about the possibility of applying such a ban in the future, the head of the Duma Committee noted that “in the life of the absolute prohibitions do not happen.” However, Morozov believes that “ideally it would be great to wean people from bad habits.”

The tobacco lobby is afraid of black markets

No country in the world there is no ban on the sale of tobacco products to persons born after a certain date, making it difficult to assess the effectiveness of these measures in reducing tobacco consumption, he added.

“Those countries and territories, in particular Singapore and Tasmania, where the introduction of such measures were discussed at the legislative level, eventually abandoned its use, primarily due to the presence of significant practical difficulties and risks associated with the implementation and enforcement of such a ban,” said the Vice-President, corporate Affairs and communications tobacco company JTI in Russia, Sergey Kiselyov, RIA “Novosti”.

From an economic point of view, the proposed measures will undermine the industry, will accelerate the substitution of legal products cheaper alternatives from black market and as a result will reduce tax revenues in the budget, warns Kiselev. “In addition, such a ban with high probability will not lead to the desired reduction in tobacco use because it will only restrict legal sales channels in Russia and will not affect the shadow supply, primarily from countries of the Eurasian economic Union, which Russia has no customs border,” – said Vice-President of JTI.

As the newspaper OPINION, the acting law “On protection of health of citizens from impact of ambient tobacco smoke and consequences of tobacco consumption” has led to the fact that, according to the survey, last year prevalence of tobacco consumption among the adult population decreased from 39% (in 2009) to 33%. According to the Director of the Department of tax and customs policy of the Ministry of Finance Alexey Sazanov, the increase in the excise tax on tobacco will lead to an increase in the average retail price of a pack of cigarettes for three years by 27%.

At the end of December, media reported that given the increase in excise duties on tobacco in the new year the cost of a pack of cigarettes could amount to about RUB 220 From 1 June 2013, Russia has anti-Smoking law. From 15 November 2013 in Russia also operates a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising and Smoking accessories.


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