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Russia Cigarette Ban: Officials Propose Smoking Ban For People Born After 2015

Update Date: Jan 12, 2017 10:56 AM EST

The Russian Health Ministry is considering major steps to make sure residents do not become smokers in the future. Now, it has proposed a ban on selling cigarettes starting in 2033, when now-toddlers born in 2015 would be legally able to buy cigarettes.

It's part of a tough anti-tobacco strategy Russian politicians are trying to make a reality. Tobacco-prevention efforts could help the economy save trillions in health care and lost productivity each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports.

Some experts, however, warn that the ban could increase to a black market for illegal cigarettes. However, the Russian Health Ministry defended its proposal, noting the 300,000 to 400,000 Russian citizens who die from smoking-related diseases every year.

"By 2033, the ban on the sale of tobacco products to people born after 2014 will not seem an extreme measure, but an entirely logical development of events," Marina Gambaryan, an expert at the Health Ministry, said as reported by Time.

The Sun reports that an estimated 43 percent of the Russian population are smoking, down from 60 percent in 2015. This is compared to just 19 percent people smoking in the United Kingdom.

"This goal is absolutely ideologically correct," Nikolai Gerasimenko, a member of the Russian parliament's health committee, said as reported by the Sun. He added that he is unsure if the ban would be enforceable.

The Dangers Of Smoking

The World Health Organization (WHO) further reports that tobacco can kill up to half of its users and kills around 6 million people each year. In fact, of the 6 million, 5 million of the deaths result from direct tobacco use while more than 600,000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.

An estimated 80 percent of the world's smokers live in low-and middle-income countries. Smoking is also the leading cause of death, illness and impoverishment. Users of tobacco who die prematurely because of the habit deprive their families of income, raise the cost of health care and hinder economic development.

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