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Putin Signs Antismoking Law

A worker smokes during a break at a coal mine in the Siberian town of Shestaki. (file photo)
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law banning smoking in public places, a move that the government hopes will improve public health.

From June 1, it will be illegal to smoke on public transport, in railway stations, in elevators, bus stations, administrative buildings, and in any venue related to education or health.

In June 2014, the ban will be expanded to include ships, long-distance trains, hotels, cafes, and restaurants.

The new law will also ban advertising of tobacco products, as well as sponsorship of events by tobacco companies.

Russia has one of the world's highest smoking rates, with more than 40 percent of adults regularly lighting up.

Based on reporting by AFP, Interfax, and ITAR-TASS