Russia is considering bold steps to try and stop its citizens from becoming smokers.
A proposal by the Russian Health Ministry would place a ban on selling cigarettes to people born after 2014, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports. The ban would continue even after they are 18, which is currently the legal smoking age in the country. That means a full prohibition of cigarettes would not go into effect until 2033.
Some experts warn that the ban could create a black market for illegal cigarettes. But the Health Ministry defended its proposal, citing the 300,000 to 400,000 Russian citizens who die from smoking-related diseases each year.
“By 2033, the ban on the sale of tobacco products to people born after 2014 will not seem an extreme measure, but an entirely logical development of events,” Marina Gambaryan, an expert at the Health Ministry, told TASS.
In 2013, Russia banned smoking in restaurants.