Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Russian President Vladimir Putin to Pass the Largest Crackdown on Cigarettes

Russian President Vladimir Putin is considering to pass the largest public health drive in the history of tobacco industry since former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev didn’t realize to break his county of the habit to consume alcohol with a strong crackdown on tobacco and drink.
An anti-smoking regulation presented to parliament on Friday will prohibit smoking in public places, any tobacco advertising and kiosk sales. That follows the actions to restrain the world’s fourth-highest alcohol use per capita with tax increases and by reducing trade. Russia is the world’s second-leading market for cigarettes and alcohol, according to recent estimates. The country with a population of 143 million is 5 million less than it was registered in 1991, when the Soviet Union ruined. Alcohol and tobacco use costs the Russian economy approximately $104 billion per year, or about 5% of gross domestic product (GDP), according to the government estimates.
The crackdown risks encouraging Russians to look for counterfeit cigarettes and drinks, according to cigarette manufacturers and alcohol industry experts. Illicit sale of vodka which is priced as little as $1 for a half-liter (0.13 gallon) will increase to about 60% from 30% of the market by 2014, according to the Center for Federal and Regional Alcohol Market Studies. Illegal cigarette trade may expand to about 45% of the market from 1%, the lobby group Tabakprom informs.
This year, Russia boosted the minimum price of a half-liter of vodka to about 125 rubles or $4 and plans to increase it further to 200 rubles by 2015, according to the government representative Dmitriy Fedorov. As about beer taxes, which were raised in 2010 they should be six times higher in 2015 than in comparison to 2009. “We are already used to smoke, drink and eat poor diet and doing less sport and then falling ill, and take pills in order to get better. But all these should be stopped, and as sooner as better,” stated Nikolai Gerasimenko, deputy head of the lower house of parliament’s ministry of health.