Tags: Russia | sober | vladimirputin | health | alcohol | vodka

Report: Russians Sober Up, Live Longer Under Putin

a cadet drinks a vat of wine with knifes in the glass
A Naval university cadet drinks from a glass of wine during a graduation ceremony, in Kronshtadt, Russia on June 21, 2019. (Olga Maltseva/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 29 December 2019 02:17 PM

Moscow, known for its Smirnoff's vodka, was once locale for heavy drinking, but Russia has cut its alcohol consumption in half in the past decade (2008-'18), taking the lead from a health-conscious President Vladimir Putin, the Financial Times reported.

"Our leader is completely compliant with a healthy way of life," Russian health minister Veronika Skvortsova told Financial Times. "He plays sports, he shows as a role model how to work hard but maintain a healthy lifestyle."

The fall in alcohol consumption has been met with a rise in life expectancy in Putin's Russia, too, per the report.

"We have been heading toward this, focusing completely on this goal," Skvortsova told the Times. "When I arrived in the ministry in 2008, the annual consumption of alcohol was 18 liters per capita. 

"My strategy was to make every minister in the entire government feel a little bit like they were the minister of health," she added to the Times.

Russia now drinks less than Germany or France, according to the World Health Organization, the Times reported.

Among the reasons for the decline:

  • Excise tax on alcohol.
  • Sales banned from sporting events.
  • Sales banned after 11 p.m.
  • Ads banned on TV.
  • Public drinking ban.

"We are honing our strategy in how to combat bad behaviors," Skvortsova told the Times, adding she wants "to make living healthily a habit" on a subconscious level.

It is part of the reason Russia's average life expectancy has increased five years to 73 last year, per the report.

"Obviously these are connected – it is one, big contributor to the increase," Skvortsova told the Times.

Likewise, the legalization of marijuana is a non-starter now in Russia, per the report.

"Absolutely not. Public opinion is completely negative on this," she told the Times. "I think that it is against humanity [to legalize cannabis]."

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Moscow, known for its Smirnoff's vodka, was once locale for heavy drinking, but Russia has cut its alcohol consumption in half in the past decade (2008-'18), taking the lead from a health-conscious President Vladimir Putin, the Financial Times reported."Our leader is...
sober, vladimirputin, health, alcohol, vodka
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2019-17-29
Sunday, 29 December 2019 02:17 PM
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