- The Washington Times - Friday, January 25, 2013

Russia has taken a step closer toward enacting strict new tobacco prohibitions that set most public places off limits to smokers.

The new rules would also double taxes on cigarettes, Radio Free Europe reports.

The State Duma voted 442-1, with one abstaining, to send the legislation to its third reading. Following that, the bill then has to meet the approval of the Federation Council and President Vladimir Putin.

Bill sponsors say the measure is aimed at protecting citizens from tobacco’s health risks.