Bolder Health Warnings Coming to Cigarette Packs in Russia

Published on October 11th, 2010 12:41

Russia has been one of the largest tobacco markets in the world for decades, but this situations is about to change, as the local authorities introduced a set of measures to reduce smoking across the country.

One of such measures is the introduction of stronger health warnings on the cigarettes packages, which will feature «smoking kills” warnings and other statements that could contribute to cutting smoking rates in the country which loses around 500,000 human lives every year due to tobacco use and smoking-related illnesses.

tobacco worning

As this year’s World Health Organization report on tobacco use states, smokers make up 60% of adult men in Russia, whereas the percentage of female smokers is on the rise as well in comparison to the 1980s.

In conformity with the report, more than 500,000 smokers in Russia pass away annually because of the health complications related to tobacco consumption, making the nation’s demographic situation even more complicated.

The WHO report concludes that in case tobacco consumption is not cracked down, it could result in a reduction in the adult population from present 142 million to around 116 million by 2050.

By obliging cigarette manufacturers to place more scaring health warnings covering 30% of the front side of the pack and a half of the back side, Department of Public Health implemented cigarette packaging standards applied across the European Union.

The statements on the packs range from likeability of developing lung diseases, impotency, and cardiovascular diseases, to the information over the amount of tar and nicotine.

In conformity with the Department of Public Health, the implementation of the new technical regulations in cigarette manufacturing marked the start of the latest nationwide campaign to lower tobacco consumption and decrease the appeal of tobacco on adolescents.

According to statistics, approximately 400 billion cigarettes were consumed in Russia last year accounting for nearly 2,900 cigs per capita.

Russia is the fifth largest tobacco market in the world, with domestic market divided among the three largest global tobacco companies: Japan Tobacco International, British American Tobacco, and Philip Morris International

The Russian Federation signed into effect the landmark WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Consumption, which requires the governments to approve more rigorous laws aimed at lowering tobacco consumption. The measures that should be adopted by the countries that ratified this treaty include: smoke-free policies, plain packaging regulations and others. The countries should also carry out awareness-rising campaigns across the nation, to educate people about the dangers of tobacco use.

Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin, the country’s prime minister, claimed that tobacco use and alcohol are the biggest problems for Russian people.

Meanwhile, the restrictions on cigarette sales to minors are generally flouted across the nation and the cigarettes are selling practically everywhere for as little as $1.5 per pack of twenty cigs, while non-filtered smokes are selling for even less.

The Ministry of Finances declared the excise taxes will be increased in late summer; however, tobacco products will still b much more affordable comparing to cigs’ prices in Europe.

By Kevin Lawson, Staff Writer. Copyright © 2010 All rights reserved.

Related tags: health warnings | new smoking product | cigarette pack | FDA

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