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Russia’s smoking ban expected to affect Malawi

Smoking banBLANTYRE—The anti-smoking ban taking shape in some western countries will, in the long run, negatively affect tobacco production and the entire industry in Malawi, Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) has observed.

The United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and Australia banned smoking in public places.

Likewise, Russian government has also banned smoking in public places after Pres. Vladimir Putin signed the bill into law which will from June this year prohibit smoking in schools, restaurants, long-distance trains and housing block entrance hail, among others.

The law will also ban sales of tobacco products from kiosks, restrict advertising of and set minimum prices of cigarettes.

TCC chief executive officer Bruce Munthali observed that the ban and restrictions would discourage some Russians from smoking and others may end up quitting.

“The ban will limit intake of tobacco products by Russians. This is one of the populous countries in the world and its economy is picking up and as country, we could greatly benefit if the ban was not enforced,” lamented Munthali.

Tobacco is Malawi’s major export crop and contributes largely to the country’s economy as it accounts for 60 percent of its export earnings.

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