Alcohol Consumption in Russia Dropped by More than 40%
Alcohol consumption has dropped by 43% since 2003, according to a World Health Organization report.
WHO has called for a reduction in a number of measures taken by sports-loving Vladimir Putin and his restrictions on alcohol sales and the promotion of healthy lifestyles.
"The Russian Federation has long been considered one of the heaviest-drinking countries in the world," the report said, adding that alcohol was a major contributor to a spike in deaths in the 1990s.
"However, in recent years these trends have been reversed." the report continues.
The survey shows a 43 percent drop in alcohol consumption per capita from 2003 to 2016, driven by a sharp drop in the consumption of bootleg booze.
The authors state that this trend is a factor in the increasing life expectancy, reaching a historic peak in 2018, at 78 years for women and 68 years for men. In the early 1990s, men's life expectancy was only 57 years.
The last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, led a partial-anti-alcohol campaign that lowered consumption from the mid-1980s to 1990. But since the collapse of the Soviet Union, alcohol consumption has exploded and continued to increase until the early 2000s.
Under Putin, Russia has introduced measures including a ban on shops selling any alcohol after 11 pm, increases in the minimum retail price of spirits and an advertising blackout, AFP reported.
Earlier, WHO data showed that Russian adults now drink less alcohol than their French and German counterparts.
Moscow has also begun its fight against smoking, announcing a ban on even balconies last week. The use of tobacco by Russians dropped by more than one-fifth between 2009 and 2016, to 30%, according to the latest global survey on adult smoking.
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