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Vladimir Putin announces plan to ban smoking in Russia by stopping anybody born after 2015 from EVER buying cigarettes

New smokers face being cuffed by police simply for buying a packet of fags

VLADIMIR Putin wants to kick smokers’ butts by introducing the most harshest cigarette laws ever conceived by a government.

The clean living fitness freak loathes people smoking around him and wants everyone in his country to snub out their filthy habit.

Under plans to rid Russia of the demon weed once and for all, anyone born after 2015 would be banned from buying cigarettes.

In fact it will be deemed as bad as buying illegal drugs.

But while Putin‘s measures seem harsh, desperate measures are perhaps called for.

About 43% of the Russian population lights up – down from 60% last year – compared to 19% people smoking in the UK.

Despite tax rises, fags are cheap compared to Western Europe, with a packet of Marlboro Reds costing just £1.10.

Nikolai Gerasimenko, a member of the Russian parliament’s health committee, said: “This goal is absolutely ideologically correct.”

But Mr Gerasimenko also admitted he was uncertain whether such a ban would be enforceable.

Dmitri Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, told The Times the proposed ban would require serious discussion.

He said that other ministries would need to be consulted before it was approved.

Although Putin is a non-smoker known for his love of judo and topless horseback riding, Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, is a chain smoker.

The top diplomat once opposed an attempt to introduce a ban on smoking at the UN headquarters in New York.

The smoking ban has sparked debate in Russia, with warnings that the move could lead to a rise in black market cigarettes.

“Counterfeit tobacco could lead to even more harm to people’s health,” said Elena Topoleva-Soldunova, a member of the Russian public chamber, which advises the government on social policy.

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