MOSCOW May 28 Russia may introduce minimum
cigarette pricing as early as next year to curb smoking in a
further restriction on the $20 billion market, business daily
Vedomosti reported on Wednesday.
Russia started tightening regulations of the tobacco market
last year, restricting cigarette sales and banning advertising
and sponsorship of events by tobacco companies. A ban on smoking
in public places will be broadened to include restaurants and
cafes from June 1.
Vedomosti reported that a new draft law proposed setting the
minimum price at 55 roubles ($1.60) per pack from 2015, which
would be adjusted each year to take into account changes in the
excise tax and inflation. Currently the cheapest pack of
cigarettes in Russia sells at 39 roubles.
Russia's $20 billion a year cigarette market is about 90
percent controlled by foreign firms such as BAT, Imperial
Tobacco, Japan Tobacco and Philip Morris
($1 = 34.4050 Russian Roubles)
(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova, editing by Elizabeth Piper)