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12.11.2010

Russia is world’s most smoking country in the world

Russia’s Health and Social Development Ministry has described Russia as the most smoking nation in the world. The Ministry has come to this conclusion on the basis of a survey of the adult population, which was conducted with support from the WHO. The findings were made public on Tuesday.

It has turned out that in Russia 43.9 million adults smoke and a very large share of Russian tobacco users are in the economically and demographically active age group - from 19 to 44 years. At this age, 7 in 10 men and 4 in 10 women smoke.

Specialists of the Health and Social Development Ministry and the WHO experts have been working on various proposals and measures that may affect the ‘tobacco epidemic.’ For example, economists estimate that an increase in excise duties on tobacco to 70 percent of the retail price would save the lives of 2.7 million people in Russia, because smokers will have to quit, and many young people will never acquire this habit. As for the economic effect, according to WHO experts an increase in the excise rate from the current level of 33 percent to 70 percent would lead to additional annual incomes into the state budget in an amount of 125-153 billion rubles.

An annual 330,000-400,000 Russians die each year from diseases related to smoking. Tobacco consumption is among the three major risk factors for premature mortality in the country, followed by high blood pressure and high cholesterol in the blood.


Source:  www.itar-tass.com

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