- More than one-third (39 percent) of the population in Russia smokes.
- An estimated 60 percent of men and 22 percent of women smoke.
- Among youth (age 13-15), one-fourth (25 percent) smoke.
- Russia has one of the highest male smoking rates in the world and one of the highest youth smoking rates in Eastern Europe (boys 27 percent; girls 24 percent).
- Approximately 385,000 Russians die each year from tobacco-related causes.
- In 2002, tobacco was responsible for more than 17 percent of all deaths in Russia.
- Russian male life expectancy dropped from 64 years of age in 1989 to 59 in 2009, in part due to increased tobacco consumption.
- By comparison, men in Western Europe live, on average, 77 years.
International tobacco companies dominate Russia’s cigarette market, holding over 90 percent of the cigarette market share in Russia. In 2008, Japan Tobacco held 37 percent of the market share, followed by Philip Morris International (25 percent), British American Tobacco (20 percent) and Imperial Tobacco Group (9 percent). In Russia, more than 390 billion cigarettes were sold in 2008.
Russia ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on June 3, 2008.
Tobacco Control Policy Status
Smoke Free Places: In Russia, smoking is currently prohibited in many indoor workplaces, indoor public places, and public transport. Beginning June 2014, there will be a comprehensive ban on smoking in indoor workplaces, indoor public places, and public transport. At that time, restaurants, bars, pubs, nightclubs, and hotels (both public areas and guest rooms) will be required to be 100% smoke free. The only exception to the otherwise comprehensive ban will be for long-distance passenger ships. Sub-national jurisdictions may enact more stringent laws than the national legislation.
Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship: All forms of domestic and cross-border tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship are prohibited, subject to a few exceptions. Point of sale product display is currently allowed but will be banned beginning in June 2014. In addition, the law restricts, but does not prohibit, promotional features that may appear on tobacco product packaging.
Tobacco Packaging and Labeling: In June 2010, Russia implemented regulations requiring health warnings on 30 percent of the front and 50 percent of the back of the pack. As of May 2013, the health warnings on the back of the pack are required to include pictures. Regulations allow misleading descriptors such as "light" and "low-tar," so long as the products contain a warning that such products are not less harmful to health.
Tobacco Taxation and Prices: The World Health Organization recommends raising tobacco excise taxes so that they account for at least 70 percent of retail prices. Tobacco excise taxes in Russia are well below these recommendations.
Updated: April 2014