Russia's smokers huff and puff over looming ban
MOSCOW (AFP) - In a familiar scene of Russian daily life, Mr Ivan Alexandrov smoked a cigarette outside a Moscow metro station as other commuters stepped out of the heavy doors and immediately lit up.
But under a draft law already passed by parliament banning smoking in public places, from next year such scenes will be a thing of the past in Russia.
If the law is passed by the upper house and then signed by President Vladimir Putin, Russia will from 2014 have European-style bans on smoking in restaurants and bars as well as long-distance trains.
The ban will even apply outdoors in a radius of 15m around metro stations, a tough prospect in a country where 40 per cent of the adult population is believed to smoke.