One of the things going on in Russia these days is a crackdown on smoking in public places. You can read about it here and here and here. The bill just came into effect this month.
Andrei and I were talking about whether or not it would make a difference. I'm definitely looking forward to dining out smoke-free. We always used to joke about how just a few feet (of air) separated the smoking and non-smoking sections. No walls or anything. Hello, second-hand smoke! We are definitely spoiled in this sense in the U.S.
Obviously businesses will want to follow the rules if they don't want to get strapped with a fine or worse. Today we were in the grocery store and the cigarettes were gone! That is, they were hidden from view.
But in other areas it will be harder to control. I look forward to standing at a bus stop on a chilly day and not inhaling cigarette smoke. But what do you do, perform a citizen's arrest on the person violating the new law?
Meanwhile, I would really like to get the smokers out of my building! Apartment living is like that...you have to put up with your neighbors' vices, and I'm sure they hear David from time to time. The neighbors above us smoke. During the cold months they do it in the stairwell and it seeps into our apartment. Then it gets warm and they smoke out the window/balcony, and it comes in through our windows. The cigarette butts get tossed down to the first floor or onto our balcony. Sure, you should have the right to smoke in your own home, but it's one neighborly nuisance I could do without. I've heard conflicting reports on whether or not smoking in the stairwells is off limits now. I think it's too much to hope for. But we're taking small steps, at least!