Russia declares crusade against alcohol abuse


Russia’s government has launched a crusade against alcohol abuse, describing it as a “national disaster” and aiming to halve consumption by 2020 and root out illegal production and sales. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin approved a national plan that envisions criminal punishment for illegal production and sale of alcohol, restrictions on advertising, and efforts to promote a healthy lifestyle.

Men in Russia have an average life expectancy of just 60 years, compared to 77 years in Western European countries, according to the World Health Organization. Alcohol consumption per capita in Russia is currently about 18 liters a year, which is double the critical norm set by WHO. Much of the alcohol consumed is either homemade or non-beverage alcohols, such as perfume.

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