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Anti-tobacco Regulations and Smoking in Russia

Student: Polina Okhlopkova

Supervisor: Alexander Skorobogatov

Faculty: St.Petersburg School of Economics and Management

Educational Programme: Economics (Bachelor)

Final Grade: 8

Year of Graduation: 2020

The fight against tobacco-related diseases is an important global health agenda. Tobacco control measures are regulated by the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), of which Russia is a member country. Before joining the FCTC, the Russian Federation did not have a strong national policy to address this problem, therefore, measures to combat tobacco taken after the signing of the international treaty are of particular interest. In this paper, we will consider the effect of anti-tobacco measures adopted in Russia in 2013 and 2015 on the smoking population. The main measures of 2013 include a tightening of tax policy, as well as a ban on smoking in public places, in 2015 a law was adopted to strengthen measures to counter the trafficking of illegal tobacco products. To identify the cause-effect relationship between the introduced tobacco control measures and population smoking in Russia, the synthetic control method was used, in which the policy of Russia is compared with the policy of control countries that did not pursue a large-scale anti-smoking policy in 2013 and 2015. Based on an empirical analysis conducted at the intercountry level, the following conclusions can be drawn about the effectiveness of anti-tobacco policies in Russia: 2013 measures influenced the rapid decline in the proportion of smokers, however, did not have a significant and lasting effect on the volume of sales of legal tobacco products; Tighter measures to combat the illicit tobacco market in 2015 proved to be completely ineffective.

Full text (added May 21, 2020)

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