Russian Government Approves 15-year Anti-smoking Plan

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a decree on endorsing an anti-tobacco concept aimed at reducing the number of smokers among Russian adults to 21% by 2035, Rossiyskaya Gazeta reports.

Russia’s Health Ministry together with respective federal bodies of executive power will draw up a plan in the coming six months on implementing this concept and submit it to the government.

As of December 31, 2018, the number of smokers among Russian adults stood at 29%. By 2025, this figure is expected to be reduced to 26% and by 2030 to 23.5%. Retail sales of cigarette packs, which reached 1,600 by late 2018, are also expected to decline. By 2035, this number should reach 1,000 in Russia.

The previous version of the anti-tobacco concept says that the number of smokers among children should be cut from 15.1% in late 2018 to 10% by 2035.

According to the document, Russia’s Health Ministry seeks to significantly reduce the number of diseases and deaths caused by smoking and also prevent the proliferation of tobacco products among citizens. Each year, tax on tobacco products will be raised along with excise duties, while their content should be regulated.

There are also plans to encourage smokers to quit through new warnings on cigarette packs, which should meet recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO). 

“In order to attain the concept’s goals, a system managing its implementation will be formed, which implies the creation of a mechanism for monitoring, evaluating and minimizing risks,” the document says.

The ministry also seeks to prevent the increase in the number of smokers by raising awareness about the harm that tobacco and smoke cause to health. Special corporate programs on improving health at workplace are expected to be introduced.