The Charter of Tobacco Accord
Principles of mutual respect of smoking and non-smoking citizens of Russia
Understanding civil society as a society where there are no first-class and second-class citizens, a society where people respect each other and seek to find mutually acceptable solutions,
Acknowledging that tobacco smoking is harmful to health, but is a legitimate adult choice,
Recognizing that the rights of one person may not violate other people's rights, and, therefore,
In an effort to reach compromise in public regulation of tobacco smoking to satisfy both smokers and non-smokers equally,
We, citizens of the Russian Federation, regardless of our take on tobacco smoking, unequivocally share and pledge to adhere, in our daily lives, to the following principles:
SMOKING AND NON-SMOKING
- We stand strongly against enticing non-smokers to use tobacco. We refuse to promote, idealize or glorify smoking. We will never condemn, ridicule or offend people who abstain from smoking, which is their free and respectable choice. Equally, we respect adult smokers and their deliberate choice. Any discrimination or harassment based on smoking or non-smoking is completely unacceptable and should be prosecuted by law.
- We do not dispute the scientifically proven fact that smoking is harmful to human health and are fully aware of the risks and possible effects of smoking. Therefore, we encourage and support people who have decided to quit smoking, and we strive for their smoking cessation attempt to become successful. We also support the efforts of the state to promote smoking cessation and to create a system of effective medical care for individuals wishing to give up smoking.
- We condemn underage smoking and will never stay indifferent to the sight of smoking minors or illegal sale of tobacco products to minors. We understand that it is natural for adolescents to desire a forbidden fruit and this problem cannot be solved by law making and law enforcement alone and necessitates an indifferent and active involvement of the entire society and, first and foremost, of those of us who are parents.
- While we reject censorship, we nevertheless recommend that authors of works of art of any form and genre stop promoting or justifying smoking. Children and adolescents' authors should demonstrate the highest degree of awareness and responsibility in this regard.
DESIGNATED SMOKING AREAS
- We believe that smokers should be provided with appropriate tobacco smoking conditions that do not appear as derogatory or pose additional health risks, as well as effectively shielding nonsmokers from tobacco smoke and not attracting attention of others, especially adolescents. Requirements to smoking areas should take into account typical consumption situations and specificity of using various types of tobacco products, including cigars, pipes and hookahs.
- Considering that many smokers are addicted to nicotine and prolonged abstinence from smoking causes them discomfort, places where free movement of people is restricted for long periods of time (e.g., long-distance trains, ships and aircraft, penitentiaries, hospitals, restricted access facilities, etc.) should have rooms or areas designated for smoking in accordance with the principles set out in the preceding paragraph.
SALE OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS
- Recognizing the need to rigorously monitor the ban on tobacco sales to minors, we advocate safeguarding the freedom of enterprise and the freedom of choice for smokers. Tobacco restrictions should not be excessive, inadequate or discriminatory and should not limit freedom of choice, purport creating inconveniences or obstacles for adult smokers. However, we do support tightening administrative and criminal penalties for selling tobacco to minors and for illicit trade.
- We are of the opinion that the price of tobacco products should reflect a balance between seeking state revenue from tobacco excise taxes on the one hand, and household purchasing power on the other. Loosing this balance may disrupt social stability and boost shadow economy, which is in nobody's interest.
- Consumption of tobacco and the sale of tobacco products are allowed by the laws of the Russian Federation and we believe that smokers are entitled to be informed about the product they buy and to see tobacco products on shop displays, just like any other products. However, non-smokers and, especially, adolescents should be protected from any tobacco advertising in order to avoid encouraging or enticing them to smoke.