Russia approves shocking pictures for smokers

The Healthcare Ministry of the Russian Federation approved 12 graphic images about the dangers of smoking to be placed on tobacco packaging.

It was said that cigarette packs would display appalling pictures with the words "Emphysema", "Cancer", "Periodontal Disease", "Misery," "Self-destruction", "Amputation", "Aging", "Stillbirth", "Prematurity", "Dependence," "Danger," "Impotence," RBC reports.

In May, the head of the Healthcare Ministry of Russia, Tatyana Golikova, signed the law "On approval of the warnings about the dangers of smoking, accompanied by a picture." Manufacturers and importers have one year to implement the new regulations. All cigarette packets sold in Russia will thus display graphic images to demonstrate the harm of smoking.

Recently, the U.S. has decided to opt out of the repulsive images on cigarette packs, since the effect of such pictures - a person's decision to quit smoking - had not been established. The law about the mandatory placement of appalling images on cigarette packs should have come into force on 22 September this year, the FederalPress said.

However, tobacco manufacturers filed a lawsuit against the Office of the Food and Drug Administration, claiming that the law violated free speech. The Court of Appeals in Washington, DC on August 24 ruled that the U.S. government had no right to require tobacco companies to place frightening pictures on packages, said Rosbalt.

According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), Russia ranks first in the world on the number of smokers. As many as 43.9 million Russians smoke, which makes up 39.1 percent of the total population. Each year, about 400,000 Russian citizens die from diseases caused by smoking.

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