【Unlocking Word Meanings】
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. prohibition / ˌproʊ əˈbɪʃ ən / (n.) – the act of preventing someone from doing something
Example: Some people are against the prohibition on smoking.
2. regulate / ˈrɛg yəˌleɪt / (v.) – to control the use of something
Example: The government regulates rice when the supply is not enough.
3. blanket / ˈblæŋ kɪt / (adj.) – covering everyone or everything
Example: The government implemented a blanket prohibition on firecrackers because they are dangerous.
4. black market / ˈblækˈmɑr kɪt / (n.) – a place where people buy or sell something illegal
Example: Fake money is being sold in the black market.
5. wean / win / (v.) – to make someone stop using something they often use
Example: It took him three months to completely wean off cigarettes.
Read the text below.
The Russian government proposed a prohibition on selling tobacco products to future generations.
In January, the Health Minister of Russia signed a document that contains new initiatives on regulating smoking in the years to come. Among the major proposals included is a blanket ban on selling cigarettes and tobacco, which will only apply to people born in 2015 or later. Once approved, the ban will be implemented starting 2033, when children born in 2015 reach the country’s legal smoking age of 18.
However, some experts have raised concerns about the proposal. For instance, an activist believes that the ban could result in a black market for tobacco products. Some also say that a better alternative to a total ban would be to wean people slowly from the habit.
Despite these criticisms, the Health Ministry asserts that the ban is a good measure to reduce the number of Russian citizens who die from smoking-related diseases every year. World Health Organization statistics reveal that, out of the six million people who die from cigarette-smoking each year, around 400,000 are from Russia.
In addition to imposing a smoking ban on future generations, the Russian government is also proposing a raise in taxes on tobacco and e-cigarettes to regulate people who currently smoke. At present, about one-third of Russian adults smoke.
These are not the first smoking-related initiatives that the Russian government proposed. In 2013, President Vladimir Putin signed a law that banned smoking in restaurants. The law also raised taxes on tobacco products and prohibited the sale of tobacco on street kiosks.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
· Do you agree with the idea of banning tobacco sale on only a specific population? Why or why not?
· Do you think that the ban can really help reduce the number of smokers in Russia? Why or why not?
· Which population would benefit more from prohibition laws: the younger population or the older population? Explain your answer.
· What could be the disadvantages of implementing a total ban on something? Discuss.