Entries in Smoking (2)


Russian Prime Minister Declares War on Smoking

Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- The Russian government has supported a bill that would immediately ban smoking in playgrounds, schools and universities, and prohibit smoking in restaurants and cafés by 2015.

The bill is expected to be considered in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, by Nov. 1, RIA Novosti reports. It would also restrict how and where cigarettes can be sold and marketed, as well as raise import duties on tobacco products.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev declared “war” on smoking Tuesday, saying the habit must be stamped out in a country that has become the world’s second largest market for tobacco, after China.

But it won’t be easy.  Forty percent of Russians -- about 44 million people -- smoke, including 60 percent of men.  About half of Russian smokers puff a pack or more a day.  Cigarettes are cheap -- about a dollar a pack -- and available almost everywhere.

Given the size of the Russian market, the tobacco industry is not giving up without a fight.  The Wall Street Journal reports the industry has launched a coordinated lobbying campaign to block the ban.  The paper quotes lawmakers saying they are under immense pressure from the companies.

The government, however, points to alarming health statistics.  Each year, around 400,000 Russians die from smoking-related illnesses, according to Medvedev, and a third of the country is addicted to nicotine.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Judo Fighter Expelled After Testing Positive for Marijuana

MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- American judo fighter Nicholas Delpopolo was expelled from the Olympics today for failing a drug test, which he said was caused by mistakenly eating something that had been baked with pot.

"My positive test was caused by my inadvertent consumption of food that I did not realize had been baked with marijuana before I left for the Olympic Games," Delpopolo, 23, said in a statement released by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Delpopolo's expulsion from the games came after he placed seventh in the 73-kilogram judo event on July 30. Immediately after competing, Delpopolo, who is from New Jersey, provided a urine sample that tested positive for a chemical found in marijuana. Delpopolo is the first of the 10,500 athletes in London to fail an in-competition drug test.

The International Olympic Committee disqualified Delpopolo from the event and ordered that his diploma be reallocated to the fighters who placed beneath him.

"I apologize to U.S. Olympic Committee, to my teammates, and to my fans, and I am embarrassed by this mistake," Delpopolo said in a statement. "I look forward to representing my country in the future, and will rededicate myself to being the best judo athlete that I can be."

The U.S. Olympic Committee released a statement supporting Delpopolo's disqualification.

"[The USOC] absolutely committed to clean competition and stringent anti-doping penalties," spokesman Patrick Sandusky said. "Any positive test, for any banned substance, comes with the appropriate consequences and we absolutely support the disqualification."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio