We all know smoking tobacco is not good for you, but Russian leader and health nut Vladimir Putin has decided he does not want anyone in his country to do it. He has put forward a plan to enforce a ban on anyone born after 2015 from smoking. The idea in action would mean cigarettes will have the same status as illegal drugs in Russia. Under the plan any new smoker who buys or smokes cigarettes would be arrested and charged.
According to Russian news site Izvestia the policy document is titled “concept for the state policy to counter tobacco consumption in the years 2017-2022 and beyond”.
Nikolai Gerasimenko of the Russian parliament’s health committee stated:
“This goal is absolutely ideologically correct.”
Putin is famous for being photographed buff and topless on horseback and of course his seeming bromance with President-elect Donald Trump. He is also obviously obsessed with health. However, he may find some opposition from some fellow Russian ministers.
Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, is a heavy smoker and has opposed a smoking ban at the UN headquarters in New York in the past.
Putin’s native country Russia has a high number of smokers, 43 percent in a survey this year, down from 60 percent last year. The Sun reports that Putin is highly intolerant of anyone smoking around him. There are less smokers in the UK at 19 percent and the US 15 percent, which are much lower percentages than Russia.
However, according to World Health Rankings more people die of lung cancer in the UK and US than Russia. Of course, there may be other factors at play. In Russia a prevalent killer is alcohol and perhaps this takes many people before they would have died from smoking.
In any case, yes reducing smoking is definitely a positive step health-wise. However, banning it altogether is not the most liberal move. It will presumably just drive cigarette sales to the black market, much like alcohol during prohibition.
It seems on this issue Putin really is putting his foot down with unprecedented force.
Watch Jimmy Fallon poke fun at Putin’s buff photo here:
Featured image via Youtube