Smoking Rules That Newcomers in Russia Should Know

Smoking has always been one of the issues in the society, in many countries. There are common rules about smoking that is applied equally everywhere around the world such as prohibition to smoke in several public places, such as health facilities. The universal “no smoking” sign is also helpful for people who are foreign to the country to know whether they can smoke in certain places or not. But travelers or newcomers should learn about rules that are in the book of the visited country which may differ from the ones where they come from. Russia has its own rules about smoking and they are important to be understood by everyone who visits it.

Russia is reducing the number of smokers

At the end of December 2018, it was published that the Ministry of Health of Russia is developing a concept according to which the number of smokers in the country will be reduced to 5% by 2050. In this regard, the department intends to prevent the spread of new types of tobacco products, increase excise taxes on tobacco products and introduce additional requirements for the appearance of cigarette packs. It should be noted that the first amendments to the anti-tobacco law were introduced in 2019.

The previous rules of smoking that still apply

These are the rules that became public in 2013 in Russia where it is forbidden to smoke, as well as requirements for a sign prohibiting smoking.

1. in the territories and premises intended for the provision of educational services, services by cultural institutions and institutions of youth affairs bodies, services in the field of physical education and sports;

2. in the territories and premises intended for the provision of medical, rehabilitation and sanatorium-resort services;

3. in long-distance trains, on ships in long-distance navigation, while providing services for the carriage of passengers;

4. on aircrafts, on all types of public transport of urban and suburban communications (including on ships for the transportation of passengers on intercity and suburban routes), in open air places less than fifteen meters from the entrances to premises of railway stations, bus stations, airports, seaports, river ports, metro stations, as well as metro stations, premises of railway stations, bus stations, airports, seaports, speech n ports intended for the provision of passenger transportation services;

5. in premises intended for the provision of housing services, hotel services, services for temporary accommodation and (or) provision of temporary residence;

6. in premises intended for the provision of household services, trade services, public catering, market premises, in non-stationary trading facilities;

7. in the premises of social services;

8. in the premises occupied by public authorities, local authorities;

9. at workplaces and in work areas organized on premises;

10. in elevators and common areas of apartment buildings;

11. at playgrounds and within the boundaries of territories occupied by beaches;

12. on passenger platforms used exclusively for boarding trains, disembarking passengers from trains during their transportation in suburban traffic;

13. at gas stations.

The law also stipulates that to designate territories, buildings and objects where tobacco is not allowed to be smoked, a smoking ban sign is placed, the requirements for which and the procedure for its placement are established by the federal executive body authorized by the Government of the Russian Federation.

At the same time, there are only two possibilities for organizing smoking areas: on long-distance vessels and in apartment buildings, the owner has the right to equip smoking areas. In other cases, the creation of smoking areas is prohibited. According to the legislator, these measures will reduce the number of tobacco smokers.

Also, it should be noted that places where smoking is prohibited should be indicated with a special sign of the requirements for which and the order of accommodation of which are established by the federal executive body authorized by the Government of the Russian Federation. In addition to restricting permitted smoking areas, the methods for selling it are also limited. The sale of tobacco products is permitted only in stores and pavilions, while it is forbidden to place them on display cases or put them in the checkout area when retailing. The list of tobacco products on sale must be posted in writing, without images, in black font and the same size.

The new rules of smoking as an addition

These have only been introduced in 2019, so they should be taken into the attentions of , not only newcomers, but also Russians who smoke.

1. at work

Employees of Russian companies can smoke during the working day only on condition that the employer has organized a special smoking area for them. By law, such “smoking rooms” can be located on the street or even in a room with ventilation; the main thing is that they are indicated by the corresponding graphic icon and equipped with ballot boxes. But employees of government agencies, including officials, teachers and doctors, cannot smoke indoors, under any circumstances.

2. before traveling

Smoking is strictly prohibited at the stations and airports – it will be possible to smoke here only at a distance of at least 15 meters from the building, but smoking on railway platforms while waiting for the train is still possible.

3. in own apartment

You can smoke as much as you like while in your own car or in your own apartment. This rule also applies to other properties owned by the smoker, whether it be a garage, a barn or an office.

4. outdoors

On the street, smoking is also allowed, but not in public places, which include public transport stops, busy streets and squares, as well as the territory of social facilities.

However, this year a new rule appeared in the anti-smoking law: if there are people next to the smoker who do not want to breathe tobacco smoke and say so directly, then the smoker will have to respect the public demand and put the cigarette off.

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