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Russian tobacco producers will introduce warning messages on cigarette packs on Saturday to enhance public awareness of smoking-related mortality threats.
The tobacco companies will be allowed to sell the previously produced cigarette packs containing no warnings until next year, the Russian Health and Social Development Ministry said.
Under the new regulations, which are part of a Russian anti-smoking campaign, tobacco companies are obliged to print messages informing people of the harmful effects of smoking.
The main warning message "Smoking kills" must be printed in a black frame covering no less than 30% of the front and an additional message should cover no less than 50% of the back.
There will be 12 additional cautionary statements such as "Smoking causes lung cancer," "Smoking causes heart attacks and strokes," "Smoking can lead to male impotency," "Keep children away from tobacco smoke."
The tobacco companies will be allowed to change the messages once a year and "decorate" them with pictures and pictographs. In the future, mandatory ominous pictures and photos of smokers' lungs will be introduced to emphasize the death threat.
The new regulation also requires cigarette producers to show the amount of nicotine and resins on the package. Since June 22, the amount of carbon monoxide in smoke from a filtered cigarette must not exceed 10 milligrams.
In 2008, Russia joined the World Health Organization's anti-smoking convention, which requires health warnings to be printed on cigarette packages and cover at least 30% of the front.
According to WHO reports, more than 60% of Russian men are smokers, and around 400,000 Russians die from smoking-related illnesses annually. The major contributing factor to the trend is the low cost of cigarettes in Russia.
MOSCOW, June 25 (RIA Novosti)
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