Analytical program "However" with Mikhail Leontiev, October 04 2011



The fight against smoking is a socially useful thing. True, until it turns into a mockery of smokers. Until now, we have made it necessary to laugh at the paranoid forms that this struggle is acquiring in some particularly advanced countries. They giggled. From the depths of the Ministry of Health in a strange way jumped a bill that reproduces the most violent fantasies of the world tobacco-wrestlers community.


The draft law "On protection of public health from the effects of tobacco consumption", in addition to the classical measures to ban advertising and generally laying tobacco on the shelves, frightening pictures and signs, prohibiting tobacco workers from sponsoring any cultural and recreational activities, provides for a total ban on smoking on any transport, in hotels, institutions, bars, restaurants and nightclubs, including, by the way, hookahs, and even in entrances, unless with the documented consent of all homeowners there is a specially equipped isolated room. It also provides for a sharp increase in excise taxes and a ban on the sale of tobacco products in retail outlets with an area of ​​less than 50 square meters.

To begin with: a multiple increase in the price of tobacco can hardly be called a popular measure. The ban on trade in tobacco in the kiosks is a wild blow to the small retail business and absolutely arrogant lobbying of the interests of large retail chains. That immediately with the ears gives the motives of the authors. A sharp increase in excise taxes, especially in the conditions of the Customs Union, automatically leads to an increase in smuggling. By the way, for this very reason our Ministry of Finance has already refused quite recently from such an increase. Moreover, the scope and agility with which it is supposed to introduce all these total bans contradict the “national strategy” adopted by the Ministry of Health itself. There is even a suspicion that the Ministry of Health specialists have a weak relation to the authorship of this document, which someone Dmitry Yanin ascribes to himself - a well-known anti-tobacco social activist who exists for grants from the Bloomberg Foundation, the mayor of New York, famous for his active hatred for smokers.

The anti-smoking industry relies on the financial strength and interests of the largest pharmaceutical companies. In the USA, where lobbying costs are legal and fixed, the pharmacological industry is the largest lobbyist who spent over 12 over the years more than 2 billion dollars - twice as much as the entire fuel and energy complex. At the same time, the largest American anti-tobacco funds of Johnson, Gates and, especially, the Bloomberg Foundation direct their activities to developing countries, including Russia. In particular, the foundation, based on the measure of New York by Michael Bloomberg, plans to allocate 2013 millions of dollars for these purposes before 500.

Yes, for the money? It is strange that the shooting of smokers as stray dogs has not yet been declared. Some places from the project generally resemble notes from the "yellow house". For example, tobacco products not only cannot be put on the counter - the price list for them is provided to consumers, on their request, on separate counters, near which - at least 3 meters - there is no cash register equipment. But the idea to provide protection from tobacco smoke prisoners by the forces of GUINA is worth a lot!

Russia is a smoking country. We smoke 44 millions. These are living people. They also have rights. Many of them would be nice to help get rid of the bad habit, especially if they want it themselves. The project that confuses the fight against smoking with the fight against smokers has nothing to do with it. And an attempt to transplant Russia into a non-smoking carriage with one jerk is very much like a provocation.
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