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Russian State Duma Passes Tobacco Bill In Second Reading

A man smokes on a street in central Moscow
A man smokes on a street in central Moscow
Russia's State Duma has voted in favor of strict new legislation in its second reading that is designed to protect public health from the dangers of tobacco.

On January 25, 442 deputies voted in favor of the bill, one voted against, and one abstained.

The bill would ban smoking in most public places, at universities and schools, in workplaces, in common areas of residential buildings, and on all local and intercity transportation.

It also more than doubles excise taxes and sets minimum prices for the sale of cigarettes.

The bill would also make it easier for medical personnel to give advice on avoiding or quitting smoking.

In order to become law, the bill must pass three readings in the Duma before being approved by the Federation Council and signed by President Vladimir Putin.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax

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