MOSCOW, September 25 (RAPSI) – Experts of Russia’s Civic Chamber believe that the fight against a new form of substance abuse (sniffing) developing in the country should include a ban on respective advertising, as well as restrictions of sales of lighters and natural gas containers.

According to the statistics collected by the activists, across practically all regions of Russia minors rapidly develop a habit to sniff natural gas contained in lighters and household gas containers in order to get intoxicated.

In its turn, Russia’s Investigative Committee reports that each year more people die as a result of sniffing: 65 deaths were registered in 2016, 142 – in 2017, 154 – in 2018.

Sniffing, experts say, is most widespread among minors aged from 10 to 17.

The activists believe the new substance abuse cannot be stopped by prohibition, but the development of certain preventive measures and keeping the situation under control may be an answer. Experts are developing respective recommendations for schools and higher educational establishments, as well as parents, whereas the state needs to take measures permitting instant blocking of websites promoting sniffing, a member of the Civic Chamber Sultan Khamzayev said during public consultations on the problem on Wednesday.

Among the proposed methods are also restrictions on sales of lighters, natural gas containers, and household chemicals to minors.

The activists plan to present their initiatives to the federal authorities soon.