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Russians back alcohol reforms, according to poll

02 September, 2009

Most Russians are in favour of an anti-alcohol campaign to help the country deal with its problematic relationship with drink, according to an opinion poll.

Thirty-four per cent of Russians would “definitely” support the measures, which could include restrictions on the sale and advertising of alcohol. The survey, carried out by the All-Russian Public Opinion Study Centre, found that a further 31 per cent would “probably” support the proposals.

Seventeen per cent would “probably not” back the moves, but only 8 per cent would “definitely not”. A further 10 per cent were undecided.

President Dmitry Medvedev is hoping to persuade the government to introduce reforms, which could include banning TV advertisements for beers, increasing penalties for under-age sales, and raising the legal purchasing age from 18 to 21.

He was recently quoted as saying: “Alcoholism in our country has become a national tragedy.

“Each person, on average - including children - annually consumes 18 litres of pure alcohol. If you convert this into bottles of vodka, it torments the soul.”