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Russian parliament votes to ban smoking in public

Legislators have passed one of the strictest smoking bans in Europe.

Clone of Putin and birdsEnlarge
Russian President Vladimir Putin glares at a crane as he takes part in a scientific experiment as part of the 'Flight of Hope' on on Sept. 5, 2012. The project will help preserve a rare species of cranes in the Jamalo-Nentsky region. Putin made three flights - the first to learn the process, and two others with the birds. (Alexey Druzhinin/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian lawmakers passed a tough anti-smoking measure on Tuesday. The new legislation comes as President Vladimir Putin has identified smoking as a major public health issue, the Lebanon Daily Star reported. Over 40 percent of Russia's adult population are smokers.

If enacted, smoking will be banned in public buildings and children's playgroundsstarting this summer, Voice of Russia reported. It will also be difficult to find out where to get cigarettes. Ads for cigarettes will be prohibited and cigarette packs will not be on display in stores. 

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The ban will become stricter one year after it goes into effect. Smoking will eventually be prohibited on trains, ships, hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars and shops under the new law, BBC News reported. A minimum retail price for tobacco will also be set.

The World Health Organization has pushed Russia to adopt many of the policies since 2011. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/russia/130212/russia-bans-smoking-public