½ Million Russians Die of Smoking Annually

smoking.jpg67 Pct Of Men, 40 Pct Of Women In Russia Smoke

MOSCOW, January 10 (Itar-Tass)

As many as 67 percent of men and 40 percent of women in Russia smoke. The country’s tobacco factories produce 33 billion cigarettes a year, 20-30 percent more than the amount really consumed, the chief of the consumer rights supervision watchdog, Gennady Onishchenko, said on Thursday.

He said technical rules of tobacco production that would have the power of a legal act were being drafted.

“The set of rules has undergone the first reading. We have a number of objections to some of its clauses, in particular, the allowed content of tar and nicotine and the types of counter-advertising,” Onishchenko said in an interview on the Ekho Moskvy radio station adding that the Untied Russia party had supported the watchdog’s position.

The Russian government on Thursday approved of Russia’s decision to join the World Health Organization’s anti-tobacco convention.

Half A Million Russians Die Of Smoking-related Diseases Annually – Health Ministry

MOSCOW. Jan 10 (Interfax)

Russia’s participation in the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control is justified, the Health and Social Development Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

“Tobacco-related death rates in Russia range between 330,000 and 500,000 people annually, by various estimates. Tobacco smoking reduces the length of life by 10-15%,” the statement says.

The ministry warns that tobacco smoking and tobacco-related diseases in Russia are tending to grow. For one, annual cigarette consumption increased by 30% from 287 billion to 375 billion cigarettes, placing Russia among countries with a higher-than-50% of tobacco users among the population, the ministry says.

“That’s why Russia’s participation in the framework convention is justified,” the statement says.

  

Anti-smoking Convention Not To Enter Into Force Immediately In RF

MOSCOW, January 10 (Itar-Tass)

The Russian government supported Russia’s accession in the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The Cabinet has taken the specific decision at its meeting on Thursday. The convention entered into force on February 27, 2005.

However, the Russian government’s decision to support Russia’s accession to the convention does not mean that the convention will immediately enter into force in the country.

Under Article 36 the convention enters into force 90 days after the documents for its ratification or accession to the convention have been filed.

Under the federal law on international treaties in the Russian Federation “the decision on the accession to the convention should be taken as a federal law,” which the Russian Federal Assembly should approve, the governmental materials prepared for the government meeting said on Thursday.

Meanwhile, under the convention its signatories should impose a ban on tobacco advertising within five years. The convention signatories should place smoking harm slogans on cigarette packs within three years.

The convention commits the Russian government to protect people from smoking by introducing new taxes and price regulating measures and setting tough rules for the tobacco advertising and sponsorship and combating the tobacco smuggling.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) approved the convention at its 56th session in May 2003.

The convention aims at the protection of current and future generations from the harmful consequences for the health of people, as well as social, ecological and economic consequences of the tobacco consumption and the tobacco smoke impact by outlining anti-smoking measures that the signatories should implement on national, regional and international levels in order to prevent the tobacco consumption and the tobacco smoke impact from spreading.

The convention acknowledges that cigarettes and some other tobacco products are high-tech items developed to create and maintain the smoking addiction and many components in tobacco products and the smoke they emit are pharmacologically active, toxic, mutagenous and cancerigenic.

As for the tobacco advertising Article 13 of the convention holds the signatories will acknowledge that a full ban on the tobacco advertising, the promotion of the tobacco sales and sponsorship will result in the tobacco consumption scaling down. Therefore, the convention recommends each country should impose a full ban on the advertising, the promotion of the sales and the sponsorship of tobacco products under the constitution or the constitutional principles of the country.

The convention also stipulates that the package and inscriptions on tobacco products should not promote the tobacco sales. Such inscriptions as “with a low tar content”, “light” and “super light” are forbidden on the cigarette packs to avoid a false impression that a certain tobacco product is less harmful than another one. The convention also instructs to place anti-smoking warnings that will be changed from time to time and will occupy 50 percent of the two biggest sides of the cigarette pack or more, but not less than 30 percent of the two biggest sides of the cigarette pack.

After Russia’s accession to the convention the prices on tobacco products will likely grow dramatically in the country. Article six of the convention holds that new tax restrictions and price regulating measures is an effective and important tool to reduce the tobacco consumption in various groups of people, particularly among young people. Though each country has the right to pursue its taxation policy, now higher taxes on tobacco products is not just a fiscal measure, but also an instrument to protect the health of people.

The recent smoking restrictions introduced in Europe and the United States will certainly affect Russian smokers. The convention does not only proceed from the need of protecting measures of all people from the smoking harm, but also stipulates that each person, even if he is a smoker himself, is entitled to the protection from the second-hand smoking. Article eight of the convention commits each country to take measures to protect people from the smoking impact in offices inside the buildings, public transport and indoor public places.

Article 30 of the convention holds that no remarks in the convention are permitted.

Russia’s accession to this convention will allow the country participate as a full-fledged member in the major WHO bodies and will promote the healthy life style and stronger health of Russian citizens, the Russian governmental press service told Itar-Tass.

Under the convention Russia should also draft a program on the struggle with smoking. The Russian Ministry of Health and Social Development has already finalized the national strategy for the struggle against smoking and a draft plan for the implementation of the strategy and has made proposals on the establishment of a national coordinating center for the struggle against smoking.

The WHO reported that one person dies of smoking-related diseases every six seconds in the world and five million people every year..

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