MOSCOW, February 18 - RAPSI. Students aged 10 and older will be tested annually for smoking, according to a new procedure approved by the Healthcare Ministry, Izvestia reported on Monday.
New medical checkup requirements include full checkups at ages one, three, seven, 10, 14, 15, 16 and 17.
From age 10, children will be required to undergo a tobacco smoke exhalation test. The government is allocating 35 billion rubles ($1.16 billion) to examine 26.7 million children.
Doctors note that the ministry has not chosen the best or the most effective way of knowing whether or not a child smokes. Meanwhile, many teachers do not believe they need any test at all, as they already know who among their students smoke.
Earlier, the State Duma adopted an anti-smoking law in the third and final reading. The law bans smoking at state organizations, universities and schools, hospitals, stadiums, restaurants, trains and metro stations as of June 1, 2013. Only offices and industrial enterprises will be allowed to retain their segregated smoking areas.
If approved by the upper house of parliament and signed by the president, the law will come into force on June 1, 2013.
According to the Federal State Statistics Service, about 44 million Russians smoke, including children and teenagers. As many as 400,000 Russians die annually from tobacco-related diseases.