MOSCOW – Russia’s lower house of Parliament on Tuesday passed a bill prohibiting smoking in public places, an extraordinary measure in a country where about 60 percent of adult men smoke.
The bill was proposed by the Ministry of Health and energetically endorsed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in an effort to limit the harm caused by smoking. The measure is expected to be easily approved by the upper house of Parliament and signed by President Vladimir Putin within two weeks.
The state Duma gave the bill overwhelming approval, passing it by a vote of 441 to 1. One controversial element, which prohibited special smoking rooms, was modified and the new law now permits them in company offices.