Posted: Friday, 15 November 2013 1:56PM

Russians Now Face Fines for Smoking in Some Public Places



iStock/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) -- New fines went into effect in Russia Friday for smoking in certain public places.

Lighting up near a train station, in an airport, or near a playground or school could now cost you between $15 and $90.  Next year, the prohibition will be expanded to cafes and restaurants.

It's all part of a new get-healthy campaign by the Russian government, recognizing Russia's life expectancy is dangerously low and its population is shrinking.  The government is even taking steps to make vodka more expensive, and a new proposal would limit alcohol in movies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has promoted himself as the paragon of healthy living: he doesn't smoke or drink.  But in a country where about half of the population smokes -- and few respect even basic traffic laws -- many are skeptical.  

As one person commented on Twitter, Russia might as well try banning snow.

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