In 2013, the law “On protecting the health of citizens from the effects of second hand tobacco smoke and the consequences of tobacco consumption” came into force.
In fact, it bans smoking in public places and extends to educational, cultural, sports and medical institutions. In addition, smoking is prohibited in public places such as train station entrances, airports, sea and river ports. Smoking is also prohibited on the territory of state bodies, on playgrounds, beaches, in the premises of social services and workplaces located in the premises.
The law banning smoking has been amended more than once. So, at the end of October 2020, a ban on the use of hookahs, vapes and other nicotine-containing products in public places, including in cafes and restaurants, came into force in Russia.
"Word and Deed" discussed the results of this law with the deputy, member of the State Duma Committee on Health Protection, Doctor of Medical Sciences Boris Mendelevich. The parliamentarian first of all drew attention to the fact that after the adoption of this law in Russia there were much fewer smokers - and, therefore, passive consumers of nicotine.
“Not only the law, but the entire anti-nicotine program in our country, the prevention of tobacco smoking is bearing fruit. The state is really concerned about this problem, from which a large number of people suffer. A target program was adopted, which is designed for a long period of time. If we talk about figures, ten years ago there were about 50% of smokers in our country, and now this figure has dropped to 30%. This is the main indicator that the efforts made by the state as a whole, and the Ministry of Health in particular, are bearing fruit, and we see the result,”said the State Duma deputy.
Nevertheless, Boris Mendelevich noted: it is too early to say that everything is fine. 30% of the population of Russia is about 43 million smokers in our country.
“This is a huge amount, and, of course, the program to combat smoking must be continued,” the parliamentarian said.
The State Duma adopts a huge number of projects, constantly improving the federal law in order to really make it so that there are much fewer smokers and people suffering from exposure to tobacco smoke.
“Tobacco smoke, tobacco, nicotine are very harmful substances for the human body. As a physician, I can say that there are a huge number of diseases caused by smoking. And many of the consequences of smoking, in my opinion, have not even been studied. Therefore, we must continue to intensify this struggle,”said Boris Mendelevich.
However, he noted that "distortions" are unacceptable in this struggle. A strict and total ban on smoking can lead to even worse consequences - especially for addicted people.
“In general, the whole struggle is built of two components: these are prohibitive measures that are necessary and that need to be toughened up, but on the other hand, this is prevention. And now, in my opinion, in the opinion of a physician, doctor, psychiatrist-narcologist, this preventive component is still a little lame. We need to improve the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, we need to act primarily in youth, youth and even children's environments. Because these addictions are formed in childhood."
The deputy noted that years have passed since the adoption of the law, and in addition to tobacco, non-tobacco products appeared that deliver nicotine to the human body. Legislation needs to respond to these challenges and make changes to ensure that non-tobacco products containing nicotine are also regulated.
“Therefore, of course, the work must be continued. I think it will continue for decades. But I will repeat once again that I am in favor of strengthening the preventive component of this struggle,”the expert concluded.
Earlier, Boris Mendelevich, in a commentary for Word and Deed, talked about the advantages and disadvantages of COVID passports.