Kremlin pushes for strict anti-smoking laws
Around 40% of Russians smoke and the habit kills around 400,000 of them every year. By volume, smoking rates have soared 51% since 1998. The government plans to hike the tobacco tax, ban cigarette advertising, and limit smoking in bars and restaurants. "This is going to be a harsh measure, but it is absolutely necessary," a government spokesman says. "It will take time—maybe another generation—but we will succeed in defeating smoking and promoting a healthy lifestyle."