Oct 06, 2010  |  Bloomberg News

Russian Prime Minister Putin formally endorsed the National Concept on Tobacco Control earlier this week. The National Concept on Tobacco Control calls on the government to address all the key areas of tobacco control, including smokefree public places, pictorial pack warnings, advertising bans, and raising the price of tobacco.

Mike Bloomberg, who has made tobacco control a major priority of his philanthropic efforts, praised Putin's announcement. "Congratulations to Prime Minister Putin for putting tobacco control on the map in a major way," Mike said. "Millions of Russian lives will be saved as a result."

Bloomberg News writes:

Russia aims to crack down on smoking, a habit that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin calls a “calamity” for national health, through banning advertising, stopping smoking in public places, and a tax increase.

The government plans to ban tobacco advertising by 2012 and to introduce a ban on smoking in public places as well as in “medical, sports and cultural” places by 2015, according to a government report published today on its website.

As many as 80 percent of Russian men and 47 percent of women smoke in some regions, according to government data. Smoking rates among women and minors have tripled in the past five years and tobacco use is responsible for as many as 500,000 deaths a year, according to the report.

Bloomberg Philanthropies supports tobacco control efforts in low-and middle-income countries around the world, primarily through supporting the World Health Organization’s MPOWER policy measures. These include Monitoring, Protections from second-hand smoke, Offering cessation assistance, Warnings about the dangers of tobacco, Enforcing bans on tobacco advertising, and Raising the price of tobacco through taxation. Bloomberg Philanthropies has committed $375 million over six years to reversing the global tobacco epidemic.


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