Following rising number of reports that a large section of the population drinks and smokes, increasing the risk of various diseases, Russia has introduced a number of bills that crack down on the consumption of alcohol and cigarettes, which it hopes will help improve the life expectancy of its population.
Russia has passed a bill to forbid smoking in public places and designated beer as an alcoholic beverage instead of a food, as well as prohibited its sale in street kiosks, the Washington Post reports.
However, health activists have said that the Russian government needed to do a lot more than these measures in order to help Russians lead longer lives.
Experts said that more far-reaching measures will also be necessary to turn the tide against non-communicable ailments such as lung cancer, stroke and cardiovascular disease, which exploded as the health-care system fell apart with the collapse of the Soviet Union.
According to President Vladimir Putin, about 400,000 Russians die from tobacco-related diseases every year, and almost 300,000 die from causes linked to alcohol, though its effect on mortality is more debated.