State of Smoking in Russia
Party to the world health organization framework convention on tobacco control (who FCTC):
Since the who FCTC:
- Smoking reduction: Russia has one of the largest smoking populations in the world with nearly one-third of its adult population smoking cigarettes. After Russia ratified the FCTC in 2008, smoking rates decreased from 39.1 percent in 2009 to 31.0 percent in 2016.
- Bans: Russia banned tobacco advertising and smoking in public places with comprehensive smoking control legislation in 2013. The minimum age to purchase tobacco is 18 years old, but leaders have indicated an interest in potentially banning the sale of cigarettes to anyone born after 2014.
- Health warnings: Legislation in 2008 required all tobacco products to display a written warning on at least 10 percent of the packaging. Russia expanded the regulation in 2012 to include pictorial warnings, which in 2017, was then required to cover 50 percent of two display areas.
- Tobacco tax rates: The tobacco tax rate in Russia is 51 percent.
Russia’s Technical Regulations for Tobacco Products regulates combustible tobacco, smokeless products, and heat-not-burn products but does not include e-cigarettes. However, Russia has adopted a voluntary standard for heat-not-burn products. Legislation passed in 2013 imposed a comprehensive ban on smoking in indoor workplaces, indoor public places, and public transport, as well as prohibited advertising, promotion, and sponsorship of tobacco.
Coverage focuses on smoking regulations, which include a potential hike in cigarette prices and the potential ban on cigarette sales to those born in or after 2014, as an attempt to counter tobacco consumption by 2022.
Views of Alternatives to Smoking:
Generally, Russians have low awareness of e-cigarettes and other reduced-risk products, and they are not covered by Russian media.
By the Numbers:
“By 2033, the ban on the sale of tobacco products to people born after 2014 will not seem an extreme measure but an entirely logical development of events.”
– Marina Gambaryan, researcher at the Health Ministry