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Russian health officials urge tobacco smokers to quit bad habit on May 31
The Russian Health and Social Development Ministry called on all smokers trying to quit to do so on May 31 on annual international anti-smoking day.
Russia's Perfect Day to Quit Smoking campaign coincides with the World Health Organization (WHO) World No Tobacco Day.
This year the WHO decided that the day must focus on "action to protect women and girls against the sickness and suffering caused by tobacco use."
"The trends in some countries are extremely worrisome. Tobacco use is neither liberating nor glamorous. It is addictive and deadly," the official WHO website quoted Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan as saying.
According to WHO reports, more than 60% of Russian men are smokers, and around 400,000 Russians die from smoking-related diseases annually.
The low cost of cigarettes in Russia is a major contributing factor to the trend. A pack of cigarettes that would cost $8 in the United States sells for $1 in Russia and filterless cigarettes cost just 30 cents a pack.