December 20, 2023

Russia Wines Down Drinking


Russia Wines Down Drinking
Mihail Tregubov, Unsplash.

The Russian government has unveiled a new plan aimed at curbing alcohol consumption over the next seven years. According to an announcement made by the Ministry of Health, the goal is to reduce the current average annual alcohol consumption per person from 8.9 liters to 7.8 liters by 2030, a drop of 12.3 percent.

The plan would crack down on alcoholism through stronger prevention and early detection measures, limit access to ethanol-containing medicines and cosmetics used in unintended ways, and combat illegal alcohol production and sales channels. Additionally, the plan calls for partnerships with NGOs focused on societal well-being to change cultural attitudes around drinking. It also aims to propagate existing municipal, regional, and corporate programs that have successfully demonstrated a reduction in harmful alcohol consumption among citizens.

A similar concept to curb alcohol consumption was first introduced in 2009 (and, notoriously, in the early Gorbachev era), when alcohol intake reached peak levels of 18 liters per capita annually. By 2021, concerted policy efforts had succeeded in bringing consumption levels down to 8.8 liters per person for the year. However, the progress seen in recent years has now marginally reversed, with consumption rising over the past year back up to 8.9 liters as per capita alcohol intake continues to remain a public health concern.

The announcement comes at a time when alcohol abuse continues to inflict a heavy burden on Russian society, and is linked to high rates of premature mortality and health issues for adults of working age.

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