Russian parliament passes anti-smoking bill
Moscow, Feb 13 : Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, has approved a bill banning smoking in public places.
The ban, which takes effect June 1, was passed by a 441 to one vote.
The bill envisages a gradual ban on smoking in public, including in government buildings, healthcare and educational facilities, cultural sites, stadiums and public transport.
Additional restrictions proposed, in particular banning so-called smoking lounges at workplaces, were not included in the bill's final version.
The legislation also imposes a complete ban on tobacco advertising.
Tobacco companies will be barred from holding promotional prize draws and sponsoring public events and competitions.
The bill also prohibits displaying tobacco products in shops.
Some of the bill's provisions, including a total ban on smoking in trains and hotels, will come into effect one year later.
Russia signed the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control with the World Health Organisation in 2008. This obliges Russia to enact tougher restrictions on tobacco by 2015.