Warning messages on cigarette packs will be made mandatory in Russia for the first time from Saturday to enhance awareness on smoking-related diseases.
Tobacco companies will, however, be allowed to sell the previously-produced cigarette packs containing no warnings till next year, the health and social development ministry said on Friday.
Under the new regulations, which are part of Russia's anti-smoking campaign, tobacco companies are obliged to print messages informing people of the harmful effects of smoking.
The main warning message "Smoking kills" must be printed in a black frame covering no less than 30 per cent of the front and an additional message should cover no less than 50 per cent of the back.
There will be 12 additional cautionary statements such as "Smoking causes lung cancer", "Smoking causes heart attacks and strokes", "Smoking can lead to male impotency" and "Keep children away from tobacco smoke".
Tobacco companies will be allowed to change the messages once a year and "decorate" them with pictures and graphics.
The new regulation also requires cigarette producers to show on the packets the amount of nicotine and resin contained in the cigarettes. Since June 22, the amount of carbon monoxide in smoke from a filtered cigarette must not exceed 10 milligrams.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 60 per cent of Russian men are smokers, and around 400,000 Russians die from smoking-related illnesses annually.