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Russian Prime Minister Calls for Ban on Smoking in Public

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Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev meets with members of the Russian Olympic team in London this summer. He recently called for a ban on smoking.Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev meets with members of the Russian Olympic team in London this summer. He recently called for a ban on smoking.
Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev meets with members of the Russian Olympic team in London this summer. He recently called for a ban on smoking.
Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev meets with members of the Russian Olympic team in London this summer. He recently called for a ban on smoking.


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  • Russian Prime Minister Calls for Ban on Smoking in Public

From VOA Learning English, this is the Health Report in Special English.
Hundreds of thousands of Russians die every year from diseases linked to smoking. The country has one of the highest smoking rates in the world. The World Health Organization estimates that forty percent of adults in Russia smoke. That is about forty-four million people. The WHO says China leads the world in tobacco smoking rates. It says Russia is second.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev wants to reduce the number of smokers in his country. He has proposed a ban on smoking in public places by twenty-fifteen, and a ban on all tobacco advertising. And he wants to increase the country’s very low cigarette taxes -- in Russia, a pack of cigarettes can cost between one and two dollars.
Mr. Medvedev appeared in an Internet video about the issue. He said Russians must stop smoking. He said about ninety percent of Russian smokers begin smoking before they reach the age of twenty. He said smoking kills about four hundred thousand people in Russia each year. He likened the loss of life to a large city disappearing from the country’s map.
In the video, Mr. Medvedev also warned about the way smoking kills. He described long and painful deaths from cancer or emphysema, as well as sudden deaths from heart attack and stroke.
The number of Russian women who smoke has increased sharply in the past twenty years. In nineteen ninety-two about seven percent of Russian women smoked. Twenty-two percent do now.
Vladimir lives in Moscow. He supports the prime minister’s proposals to ban smoking in public.
Vladimir says he does not smoke and does not approve of people smoking in public places. However, many Russians say they will continue to smoke even if there is a ban. They say laws against smoking violate their right to make their own decisions about their health.
Prime Minister Medvedev says a bill putting the ban in place should be approved quickly.
Mr. Medvedev says “I will be direct -- this document is important for every Russian.” A Russian health ministry official told the Interfax news agency that the government wants to cut the smoking rate in half.
The upper and lower houses of parliament must consider the bill. Many experts say the government does not have enforcement power even if lawmakers pass the measure.
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Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
by: serdar from: Türkiye
11/28/2012 10:08 PM
the smoking ban public place in Turkey. really it is perfect for our. I smoked more before but I don't smoke now. this prohibition been effect for me to give up from cigarette.Furthermore,the cigaretta price is important to give up the cigaretta.the price must be definitely high. I thought before I can buy anything with this cigaretta money, instance like my car's insurance. I feel better to myself. now I am tiring a little. my life quality increased. I would recommend please don't smoke.

by: DenisB. AOR-251 from: God blessed Russia
11/19/2012 1:23 PM
I hope nobody really believes that banning smoking in public places, will improve anti-smoking situation in Russia. Moreover, it’ll just make people annoyed and angry, but, definitely, won’t help people give up smoking. And I think that the reason to ban smoking is unconvincing, I mean, it says that people die because they smoke too much, but what stops them not to smoke at home? So, is smoking a problem for Russia? Certainly, yes! But is it the greatest Russian problem? Maybe it is not quite polite, but I think that alcohol makes, incomparably, more damage to Russia and Russian citizens.
20 million Russians are dipsomaniacs, 50% of all Russian citizens are an alcoholically dictate. Statistic says that every year 700 thousand people die because of the alcohol. In 75-80% alcohol is a reason of every crime. Almost every car accidents happens because of the driver with high alcohol rate in blood. And you might ask: Why nobody do anything? And the answer is simple: nobody knows what to do.
Shall we make another, what we call, “dry law”, a prohibition on alcohol? Hm, very contradictory question. From one hand, why not? Nothing going to be worse than now, of course this will lead to developing crime and black market, and possible riots, and some more bad things. But on other hand: it is an illegal violation of my personal rights as a human and as a citizen of the Russian Federation.
I specially mentioned violation of rights, because start to notice that our government begin to toughen the laws. I’m not a smoker, and I don’t drink alcohol at all (because of my personal principles), but I’m an active Internet user, and I feel insulted and indignant when I read how our government is invading the Internet and controlling our territory. They are banning sites for nothing, they are punishing people for free speech, and etc.. I mean, I hate the smell of nicotine, but I can understand people in this situation.
And what shall we do with all this? How we can fight with alcohol and smoking? Just improve people’s life. Give a job to unemployed people, give good salary to people, give them a reason to make families and build their lives , but not just spoil it “at the bottom of glass”. What? Not today?! Maybe, tomorrow then? And not tomorrow? Ok, then when? Soon. But how soon? The answer is similar as an answer for question above: Nobody knows.
And I’ll repeat my question: what is more dangerous smoking or alcohol, and with what we must fight and spend our resources? I’ll answer so: Smoking is like poisoned dagger in your back, you defiantly will die, but not right now. In the end, with this changing, we may have a bit more cleaner air here. And alcohol… It is Doom for Russia. And it is an atrocity to ignore it.
P.S. I’m not a not renegade, I’m a patriot. And I’m not afraid to speak freely about problems of my homeland.

by: Vadim from: Russia
11/19/2012 7:55 AM
Of course, it is a good idea that our government is going to ban on smoking in public, but I think it will be useless because our laws just don't work. The question is who will control the realization of this law. Police forces in our great country have been reduced and their duties have been increased. Besides, almost in every TV channel there are a lot of ads of smoking and drinking, and in films we see people who drink and smoke and it has a negative effect on new generation. Also there is not good enough anti-smoking work or advert. I don't smoke as it is very harmful for health and I just don't like the smell of cigarettes.

by: Rocío from: Spain
11/17/2012 8:55 PM
Tehe problem is that tobacco is an adiction. When companys introduce the tobacco there was no problem with the healt, and now we are hooked they want to ban it! It is a nonsense.

by: wendi from: indonesia
11/15/2012 4:34 AM
most importenly is to discontinue cigarette sell

In Response

by: Tak from: Viet Nam
11/26/2012 3:19 PM
But, cigarette is one of important industry. It suggests that many people earn their living by woking in the cigarette company. If the cigarette sell is discontinued, how can they earn their living? Is there any other jobs for them?

by: Yang Li from: Canada
11/13/2012 2:17 PM
For those who thonght the smoking ban violate their right,we should let them know that smoking in public will create second-
smoke which also violate others' right,especially for children.

by: Nayef from: Kuwait
11/12/2012 4:20 AM
I don't understand why people are smoking ! All medical reports say "Smoking is too bad for your health"

I think governments not only should they ban smoking in public, but they also should raise the prices of cigarets. I believe $100 for a pack of cigarets is fair enough.

by: kika from: spain
11/11/2012 7:24 PM
In Spain we can´t smoke in public places,near hospitals and near parks for children because there is a law of it.
But the rate of smokers is increasing every day. The good thing is that "non smokers" can breath "in peace"

In Response

by: yeang.rady from: cambodia
11/13/2012 2:18 PM
some people don't believe impact bad of cigarette . they usually saw older person in home and nearby home smoke and they never ill but person no smoke always ill , even though it not true
when we smoke mean we save disease in body . when if increase
a lot it make problem ours body , heart brain .

by: thanh from: vietnam
11/11/2012 6:43 AM
this is big, very big issue not only in russia but all over the world, here, almost male smoke everywhere and everywhen they want,the government law is not strict on smoker and tobacco seller..... need ... maybe ... so long time ahead to reduce matter...

by: Lena from: Ukraine
11/09/2012 4:56 PM
I think the society should uphold not rights of smokers but uphold the rights of nonsmokers, because the passive smoking is much more harmful then the directly smoking.
Smokers should pay attention that they live in society where are nonsmoker people who have the equal rights - the right of health -right to breathe of pure air.
People who don't care their health let thinking about other people around yourself, people who don't smoke, and let show humane mutual respect for them.
Therefore the smokers should treat with understanding of this ban on smoking in public places.

Comments page of 2