State of Smoking in Russia | Foundation for a Smoke-Free World

state of smoking and health in the Russian federation

This page was last edited on: February 9, 2024 at 1:12 pm 

smoking rate

23.6% (2023) [1]

TOBACCO USE RATE

24% (2023) [1]

TOBACCO USE AND TRENDS

  • In 2023, an estimated 28.4 million adults (22 million male and 7 million female) aged 15 years and over Russians are tobacco product users. This positions the country as the 6th globally and the 1st in the WHO European Region in terms of the number of tobacco users.

  • Smokeless tobacco is not prevalent in Russia where 0.2% of adults (0.1% female and 0.3% male) aged 15 years and over, used smokeless tobacco in 2022.

  • In 2021, 12% of youth (12.1% boys and 11.9% girls) aged between 13 and 15 years old in the Russian Federation were current tobacco product users.

    • Unlike adults, smokeless tobacco use was more prevalent among youth where 3% (3.9% boys and 2.1% girls) were current smokeless tobacco users.

  • It is estimated that the demand for cigarettes per capita fell by 55% from 134.1 packs in 2010 to 61 packs in 2022.

Nicotine Alternatives

  • In 2022, 3.6% of adults (4.6% male and 2.9% female) aged 15 years and over were current e-cigarette users.

  • As compared with adults, e-cigarette use was more prevalent among youth where 16.7% (15.8% of boys, 17.4% of girls) aged between 13 and 15 were current e-cigarette users in 2021.

HEALTH AND ECONOMIC BURDEN FROM TOBACCO USE

  • In 2019, it is estimated that tobacco was the 2nd highest risk factor after high blood pressure which drives the most death and disability combined in the Russian Federation.

  • Tobacco was responsible for an estimated 317, 323 deaths (about a quarter (26%) of total deaths) in the Russian Federation.

    • Of tobacco deaths, 219 thousand, or 92% were due to smoking, and 36 thousand or 11% from secondhand smoke.

  • In 2019, the top 10 causes of the most deaths in the Russian Federation included Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD) ranking 1st, Stroke ranking 2nd, Lung Cancer ranking 3rd, and COPD ranking 9th.

    • Tobacco was responsible for 131 thousand or 25% of all IHD deaths, 51 thousand or 19% of all Stroke deaths, 40 thousand or 91% of all Lung Cancer deaths, and  21 thousand or 79% of all COPD deaths in the Russian Federation.

  • In 2019, tobacco use caused an estimated loss of 9 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs)- which was about 28% of total DALYs where tobacco accounts for 1.4 million DALYs for Stroke, 999 thousand DALYs for Lung Cancer, 525 thousand DALYs for COPD, and 3.3 million DALYs for IHD.

REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT and economics

Public Health Commitment
  • The Russian Federation ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)  in 2008.

  • Implemented Graphical Health Warnings (GHWs) on combustible cigarettes (CCs) in 2013.
Diverse Tobacco Market
  • HTPs and e-cigarettes are legally available and regulated under the tobacco control framework that includes e-cigarettes without nicotine content.

  • All flavors on e-cigarettes are restricted as of September 2023.

  • Product restrictions for e-cigarettes include a maximum nicotine concentration of 20mg/ml.

  • Text health warnings are required on HTPs and e-cigarettes, covering 30% of the main package surface of HTPs, while coverage is not clear for e-cigarettes as of 2023.
Taxation Policy
  • In 2022, the total tax rate on retail prices of a pack of cigarettes was 61%.

  • HTPs are subject to a statutory specific excise tax of RUB 8,669 (€37) per kg and set to increase progressively until 2025.

  • E-cigarettes with a nicotine content of 0.1mg/ml are subject to a specific excise and the rate will increase to RUB21 (€0.24)/ml in 2024 and RUB22 (€0.25)/ml in 2025.

  • The Russian Federation applies a  differential excise tax policy between CCs and HTPs. The excise value for HTPs is RUB52.88/pack with a share (29.38%) of the retail selling price of RUB 180.00/pack while the excise value for CCs is RUB88.70/pack with its share (38.73%) of the retail selling price RUB229.00/pack.
Smoking and Advertising Bans
  • The Russian Federation will enforce comprehensive smoking and advertising bans on CCs with complete compliance in 2022.  HTPs and e-cigarettes follow similar smoking and advertising bans as CCs.
Age Restrictions
  • Tobacco products and HTPs cannot be sold to individuals younger than 18 years of age.
Illicit Cigarette Trade
  • Estimated figures suggest that illicit cigarette trade was negligible between 2008 (1.9%) and 2017 (4.6%), peaking significantly in 2018 (8.5%) and settling at 11.9% in 2022.

TOBACCO PRODCTION AND DIVERSIFICATION

Russia has never been a producer of tobacco leaves.

Infographic that reads There are 28.4 million adult tobacco product users in the Russian Federation Tobacco use prevalence is considerably higher among men (40.2%) than women (10.7%) Smoking rate 23.6%

As research findings become available that are inclusive of additional gender identities, the Foundation will update the information presented. 

[1] Source: World Health Organization: Non-age-standardized estimates of current tobacco use, tobacco smoking and cigarette smoking (Tobacco control: Monitor) and The World Bank’s Population Estimates and Projections.

Explanation: This estimate is calculated by applying the WHO’s estimated percentage of tobacco smokers for 2023 to the World Bank’s projected population figures of the same year for 15 years and older. These figures should be used with caution, as they do not account for the 95% credible interval around the estimate.

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