Russia has achieved a smoking rate reduction to 30% across the nation, and Vladimir Poutine’s government is hoping to maintain the trend. The country is working to massively reduce this percentage point by applying anti-smoking strategies. These measures are the very same as those listed in the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
Six million people die in the world every year from tobacco-related diseases, including 400 000 in Russia alone. Their most recent anti-smoking initiative to date, implemented between 2010 and 2015, brought the rate down from 39% to 31%. The government expects to reduce this further, down to 25%, by 2022.
New anti-smoking measures implemented in Russia
The Russian Ministry of Health wants to extend the ban on smoking in public places to bus stops, mall entrances, pedestrian crossings, communal appartments, and vehicles in which any passenger is under 12 years old.
While smoking cigarettes is already forbidden in cafés and restaurants since 2014, hookas and e-cigarettes are to be included in the ban.
To promote smoking cessation in Russia, the government also plans to raise cigarette pack prices. It is currently 4 times cheaper than in most of Western Europe. To achieve this, tobacco taxes are expected to be raised to 70%, from the current 41%. A final measure being considered by the ministry would be to forbid the sale of cigarettes to any person born after 2014 which would result in eliminating tobacco consumption within a few years. A drastic but potentially effective solution. That is, of course, if it doesn’t simply create a thriving black market.
Russia is moving towards a 100% non-smoking country. The objective is to eliminate tobacco and vaping thanks to increasingly restrictive anti-smoking legislation.