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A new study published in Tobacco Control shows that introducing a full range of demand-reduction tobacco control policies in Russia would save up to 3.7 million lives by 2055.

The research, conducted by the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), Georgetown University, the American Cancer Society and the National Research Centre for Preventative Medicine in the Russian Ministry of Health, suggests that Russia can make a significant impact on tobacco-related mortality and morbidity by introducing and enforcing stronger tobacco control policies, such as the national smokefree law passed in Russia in February 2013.

Currently, male smoking prevalence in Russia is the highest in Europe at 60%. Female smoking prevalence has increased from 10% to 21% in the last 15 years. 14% of all deaths in Russia are attributable to tobacco smoking.

The research examines the effects of tobacco control policies on past and future smoking rates in Russia. In conjunction with populating data, these results have been used to predict smoking prevalence and the number of smoking-attributable deaths. Full implementation of the new law will lead to a slight decrease in smoking among men and a plateau in smoking rates among women. If Russia's new tobacco control law is not properly implemented, smoking prevalence rates will remain stable among men and will increase in women. In this case, smoking-attributable deaths will continue to rise.

Only full implementation of Russia's new comprehensive smoking bans, and the introduction of additional legislation that includes comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, mass media campaigns, cessation policies and increased taxes will lead to significant reductions in tobacco use and tobacco-related deaths. Increasing excise taxes to 70% of the current price alone would save more than one million people from premature death by 2055.

'This new research by The Union in Russia and their partners shows just how important it is for countries to get implementation right,' said Dr Ehsan Latif, Director of Tobacco Control at The Union. 'This is why The Union is committed to helping countries to plan for effective enforcement of smokefree policies and other tobacco control measures.'

The Union ran a Smoke-Free Implementation and Enforcement Workshop in Russia in May 2013.

Full Citation: Maslennikova GY, Oganov RG, Boytsov SA, Ross H, Huang AT, Near A, Kotov A, Berezhnova I, Levy DT. The Long-term Effects of Tobacco Control Policies on Smoking Prevalence and Smoking Attributable Deaths in Russia. Tobacco Control. 2013 July, 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2013-051011.

A link to the abstract of the article is at: http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/tobaccocontrol-2013-051011v1?papetoc


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The Tobacco Control Department is based at The Union Europe Office, Edinburgh, registered charity no. SC039880
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