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The Olympics in Sochi launched with the support of 500 volunteers specifically trained to help implement the Games' strong smokefree policy.

Sochi-volunteers-in-actionRussian tobacco control legislation, tips on handling visitors who do not comply with the ban, and impact on health were all covered in the training jointly developed by Sochi City Administration, Sochi Volunteer Centre and The Union.

Smoking is prohibited across all Olympic and Paralympic venues, and a city-wide communications campaign highlights the ban on public transport and in public spaces. The smokefree area is monitored by volunteers.

Dr Ehsan Latif, Director of the Department of Tobacco Control at The Union said: 'The Olympics are a celebration of health and fitness – the ideal platform for promoting the benefits of a smokefree environment. The Union were delighted to be able to work with the Sochi volunteers, and we hope that the Games and the positive role models offered by athletes will inspire people to quit smoking.'

He said he hoped that the success of smokefree Sochi would inspire other legislations to emulate the policy, protecting people worldwide from the harm caused by tobacco.

No-smoking signs across the Olympic Park and announcements on public transport highlight the ban for visitors, and a mass media campaign, launched in September 2013 has raised its profile in the region.

Olympic medallist, and Russian State Duma Deputy, Dmitry Nosov said: 'At the opening ceremony about 40,000 people attended, and I didn't see a single person who smoked. This is really great. We're all making a step towards a healthy lifestyle.'

He said the smokefree zoning in Sochi should be replicated across Russia to encourage people to quit smoking.

Nosov, the judoka who won a bronze medal in 2004, said: 'This is a sports celebration, and provides an impetus for quitting smoking.'

Photo credit: Sergey Grigorash


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The Tobacco Control Department is based at The Union Europe Office, Edinburgh, registered charity no. SC039880
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