Toll of Tobacco Around the World

Russian Federation

Chart showing prevalence of tobacco use in Russia, 2008) Consumption

  • 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).

Chart showing tobacco use among youth in Russia, 2004) Health Consequences

  • Approximately 330,000-400,000 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.

Tobacco Industry

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.

Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC) Status

Russia ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on June 3, 2008.

Tobacco Control Policy Status

Smoke-free environments: In Russia, smoking is completely banned on the metro and buses. Smoking is also banned in other indoor workplaces and public places, however the law allows for these areas to have designated smoking areas/rooms.

Advertising, promotion and sponsorship: Tobacco advertising is banned on television, radio and on outdoor billboards. All other forms of marketing are allowed.

Warning labels: In June 2010, Russia implemented the new regulations requiring health warnings on 30 percent of the front and 50 percent of the back of pack. These regulations do not ban misleading descriptors such as "light" and "low-tar."

Tobacco taxes: Cigarettes in Russia are cheap and becoming more affordable over time. Currently Russia has a very low tobacco tax rate, which leads to the loss of government budget income compared to its neighbors. Tobacco taxes in Russia are below the rate recommended by the World Bank (from 65 percent to 80 percent of retail price) that is commonly present in countries with effective tobacco control policies.

Updated: February 2011


Fact Sheets

Global Adult Tobacco Survey