MOSCOW, May 21 - RAPSI. A draft law stipulating a ban on the open sale of cigarettes and smoking in public places has been submitted to the State Duma.

The draft law proposes the ban on smoking in public to include common premises in residential houses, long distance trains, entrances to railway stations, markets and public eating places.

Additionally, street kiosks will be prohibited from selling cigarettes and other tobacco products. Only shops with an area greater than 50 square meters will be allowed to sell them but they will not be able to display them openly. Furthermore, minimum retail prices are expected to be set for all tobacco products.

Selling cigarettes and tobacco products to under-eighteens will also be prohibited.

The draft law proposes to ban the advertising of cigarettes as well, which will require the law on advertising to be amended. In addition, graphic images of the effects of smoking will appear on cigarette packs in a year.

The draft law was put together by the Ministry of Healthcare and Development and is aimed at meeting the conditions suggested by the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).

The ministry believes that the implementation of these new measures will reduce smoking by 40-50 percent, helping to reduce the mortality rate in Russia by 150,000 - 200,000.

The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) indicates that Russia is the number one tobacco consumer in the world. Some 43.9 million Russians smoke, which is 39.1 percent of the population.