A ban on smoking in certain public areas is to come into effect throughout Russia.

The new legislation will see smoking prohibited within 15 metres of entrances to stations, airports, metro stations and ports, workplaces and entrances to apartment blocks.

It has also been banned in children's playgrounds and beaches from tomorrow.

In June 2014, the ban will be extended and enforced on long-distance trains and shipping journeys, hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and markets and on suburban railway platforms.

In a bid to improve public health, Russian President Vladimir Putin has made reducing smoking a priority.

Recent statistics suggest that Russia has one of the highest smoking rates in the world, with more than four in ten Russians considered smokers.

In addition to the decree, a minimum retail price will be set for tobacco and its sale and advertising will be restricted.