"Banning people from smoking on their own balconies is nonsensical. The government has simply banned people from using their own property," said one popular tweet just now.
But this will become realty in Russia, the ban takes effect on 1 October and will have a serious impact. The new fire regulations say "open fire" is prohibited on apartment balconies, as well as in the living areas of dormitories and hotels. This includes smoking but also barbecuing kebabs and lighting candles. Breaking the new fire safety rules could prompt a fine of up to 3,000 roubles (£38; €42; $47), while leaving a lighted cigarette that causes a fire could prompt criminal charges. The new rules are criticized by smokers. Some of them even asked "What's the use of a balcony if you can't smoke there?"
On the other part, the need to have a solution was created and people try to use creative imagination. But certainly they will now have to go to a designated smoking area, which could mean traveling to and from the bottom of the apartment block. The latest fire safety legislation adopted to decrease the number of careless blazes. The number of fires started on balconies in Russia was over 2,000 in 2019. The whole inhabitants in Moscow live in condominium blocks.