Russian upper house approves bill banning snus
MOSCOW, December 25 (RAPSI) – The Federation Council, Russia’s upper house of parliament, on Friday approved a bill that prohibits the retail and wholesale trade of sucking tobacco (snus), RIA Novosti reports.
The bill drafted by the State Council of Tatarstan would introduce fines of between 2,000 and 4,000 rubles ($29-$58) for individuals, 7,000 to 12,000 rubles ($101-$173) for officials, and 40,000 to 60,000 rubles ($575-$863) for legal entities.
The regional authorities would have the right to introduce additional restrictions on trade in smokeless tobacco products, including a ban on retail sales.
The bill was drafted to further reduce smoking and to prevent the proliferation of new smokeless tobacco products in Russia.
Snus is a form of smokeless tobacco product. It is placed under the upper lip for extended periods. Snus is not fermented and contains no added sugar, but tobacco content in one portion of snus is approximately five times greater than in a cigarette.
The production and sale of smokeless tobacco in the EU was prohibited in 2001. India prohibited the sale of smokeless tobacco in 2003, although using smokeless tobacco is a longtime tradition. In 2004, serious restrictions were placed on the sale and use of naswar (a moist, powdered tobacco snuff similar to dipping tobacco or snus) in Turkmenistan. In January 2010, the sale of naswar, snus and other chewing products that include tobacco, lime or other non-tobacco products was prohibited in Belarus.