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President Saparmurat Niyazov signed a decree banning chewing "nas", the Ashgabat correspondent of Turkmenistan.ru reports.

"Nas" is a specific tobacco product. It is made of shredded tobacco leaves, lime, ash, some herbs and seed or animal oil. A fill of this product is put under tongue, producing slight narcotic effect in man. Speaking yesterday at a meeting with art and culture representatives, Saparmurat Niyazov said: "Sometimes, walking in the streets, one can see a driver of a passing car sticking his head out of the window and spitting "nas". Or some people spit on the sidewalk, then the spit turns green. It is disgusting. And, after all, chewing "nas" cause tuberculosis and cancer."

As the Turkmen president's decree says, consumption of "nas" is to be banned in all ministries and departments, in enterprises of all forms of ownership, in organizations, in all military units and divisions, in border outposts and all educational establishments and pre-school establishments, theatres, public and private transport, in parks and markets, and trade facilities and in places of public gatherings.

Trade in "nas" is also banned in all trading places, regardless of their form of ownership, in public places and places of public gatherings as well as in other unspecified places, except in the live stock markets and in special places set up for trading by regional, city and district administrations.

The document charges the Ministry of healthcare and pharmaceutical industry of the republic with conducting explanatory work among people on the damaging impact of "nas" on human health.

The document also sets fines - from 2 to 4 minimal wages - on violators of the decree.

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