Russia proposes banning cigarette sales to people born in 2016 or later

Society is slowly gravitating away from tobacco cigarettes, a shift resulting largely from dedicated anti-tobacco campaigns highlighting associated health risks and, more recently, the prevalence of nicotine vaping devices. The change isn't happening quickly enough in some critics' opinions, however, and not every country is seeing the same rate of decline. Now, in an effort to eradicate smoking within its own borders, Russia has proposed a radical new cigarette ban.

Rather than banning cigarettes outright immediately, which could cause unrest among current smokers and fall unfavorably upon politicians, the country's health ministry has proposed banning cigarette sales to anyone born after the year 2015. By the time such children are old enough to smoke, the prevalence of tobacco cigarettes is likely to be much lower than it is now regardless, and such a measure may help ensure young adults don't pick up the habit.

The ban would aim to mostly eliminate tobacco smoking across an entire generation, and though it will no doubt meet harsh opposition from tobacco companies, the prospect is exciting from a public health standpoint. Still, the proposal already has its critics, and even those with favorable opinions of an outright generation ban are skeptical that such an extreme measure could be pulled off effectively.

The ban is only a proposal at this time, and the Russian government has indicated that it'll need a lot of talking over and research before the measure goes through, if it ever does.

Such a ban may ultimately prove unnecessary, however, thanks to the advent of nicotine vaping devices, usually called e-cigarettes. These devices vaporize a solution containing flavoring and nicotine, and some recent research suggests teens find such personal vaporizing devices preferable over traditional cigarettes.

SOURCE: The Independent