Accessibility links

Breaking News

WHO Report: Russia Making Strides In Fight Against Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol consumption in Russia declined by 43 percent from 2003 to 2016, leading to a dramatic increase of life expectancy, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

In a study published on October 1, the UN health agency attributed the decline of consumption to a series of alcohol-control measures implemented by the state and a push toward healthy lifestyles.

As a result, Russian life expectancy reached a “historic peak” in 2018, standing at nearly 68 years for men and 78 years for women, the report said.

Although consumption remains one of the highest in the world, Russia can now serve as a role model for other states with its policy of combating high mortality from alcohol consumption, WHO expert Carina Ferreira-Borges said.

Alcohol consumption has long been recognized as “one of the main driving factors of mortality in the Russian Federation, especially among men of working age," the study said.

But alcohol-control measures introduced at the beginning of the 2000s -- including advertising restrictions, increased taxes on alcohol, and a ban on alcohol sales between certain hours -- resulted in a decrease in all-cause mortality, with the most significant changes occurring in causes of death linked to alcohol, it said.

Russians in 2016 drank 11.7 liters of alcohol per capita per year, compared to 13.4 liters for Germans. The figures refer to pure alcohol.

With reporting by dpa
  • 16x9 Image


    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.