Come next Saturday, Russians will find that their cigarettes look very, very different.
Following up on a highly controversial and uberblunt anti-smoking ad campaign, the Duma has introduced a law that will eliminate the bland “Smoking is harmful to your health” warning in small letters at the bottom of the pack. In its place will be more specific warnings, like “Smoking causes premature aging of the skin,” or, more subtly, “Smoking kills.” Eventually, the warnings will be accompanied by gruesome images and the price of a pack of cigarettes — which now costs just a couple of bucks — will rise by 30%.
About time, given that Russia smokes more than any country in the world. (Over 30% of Russians smoke, compared to 22% Chinese.)
Oh, and 48% of pregnant Russian women smoke, so, uh, start your label makers.