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Russians Must Pay More for Vodka in 2010

4. January 2010 by Christy 0 Comments

russian drinking vodka

Thanks to a government initiative to curb rampant alcohol abuse in Russia, the minimum price of vodka will double to $3 for a half liter. The price increase, effective January 1st, 2010, comes during New Year's holiday celebrations, a time when alcohol consumption in Russia is at its highest.

President Dmitry Medvedev calls Russia's alcohol problem “a national disgrace.” According to The Lancet, a medical journal, alcohol abuse accounts for half of all deaths in Russia among people between the ages of 15 and 54. Approximately 35,000 in Russia die each year from alcohol poisoning.

Past government attempts to curb alcohol abuse have failed, and many critics claim that the price increase will only drive Russians to purchase more bootleg vodka. Experts already believe that approximately 50% of the total amount of vodka consumed by Russians comes from illegal distilleries. According to the BBC, such liquor is unregulated and contributes heavily to the country's alcohol poisoning deaths.