Is it a citizen’s patriotic duty to smoke more cigarettes and drink more alcohol? One Russian official appears to think so.
Russia has one of the lowest life expectancies in Europe, and according to CNN, alcoholism and heavy smoking play a huge part. Agence France Presse says that vodka and other kinds of hard liquor kill 500,000 Russians each year. The London Telegraph reports that 65 percent of Russian men smoke, and the average Russian drinks about four gallons of booze a year. Despite these grim statistics, the Russian Finance Minister seems to be recommending that his countrymen party even more .
Russia is about to raise taxes on cigarettes and booze which prompted Alexei Kudrin, according to CBS, to offer this insight–which is clearly based on economics rather than public health:
If you smoke a pack of cigarettes, that means you are giving more to help solve social problems such as boosting demographics, developing other social services and upholding birth rates. People should understand: Those who drink, those who smoke are doing more to help the state.
Okay, maybe he has a point with booze and the the birth rate. That aside, wouldn’t an increase in alcoholism and cancer rates strain social services even more than they already are?