Moscow to ban smoking in restaurants by 2014
Moscow, May 5 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Moscow authorities have plans to ban smoking in restaurants and pubs by 2014, besides raising penalties for drinking alcohol in public places.
A draft plan published on the city's department of economic policy and development's website has revealed.
"The ban on smoking in public places will be introduced gradually. In 2012, a total ban on smoking is planned in educational and healthcare facilities, places of culture, state offices and public transportation. In 2013-2014 the ban will be extended to all workplaces, pubs and restaurants," it said.
In addition, 20 percent fewer licences to sell alcohol will be granted in 2012-2014.
It is also expected to increase the fine for drinking alcoholic beverages, including beer, in public places to 1,000 rubles (about $35) from 100-300 rubles currently.
More adults smoke in Russia than in any other heavy-smoking country in the world, according to the World Health Organisation report released last year.
Nearly 40 percent of the country's 143-million-strong population were smokers, it said.
Smoking-related diseases kill as many as 350,000-500,000 Russians every year, say officials.
In 2010, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had approved a government anti-smoking programme which aims to reduce the number of adult smokers 25 percent by 2015.
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