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Sectors of the Russian economy that would benefit from reduced cigarette sales
  1. R M Merrill,
  2. R A Castleton,
  3. G B Lindsay
  1. Department of Health Science, College of Health and Human Performance, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA
  1. Correspondence to R M Merrill, Department of Health Science, 229-A Richards Building, Provo, Utah 84602, USA; Ray_Merrill{at}


Background: Cigarette companies argue that tobacco control measures will harm the Russian economy. Research in other countries has refuted this claim.

Objective: To identify how current and former smokers would (or did) spend their cigarette money if (or when) they quit smoking.

Methods: A nationwide face-to-face survey of 1599 participants aged 18 years and older in 128 cities was conducted in Russia during May 2008 by the Russian Levada Analytical Center.

Results: In all, 10% of respondents were former smokers and 33% were current smokers. Respondents indicated that they would spend their cigarette money on selected items if they quit. These items, from most to least common are groceries, recreation, housing, clothing, transportation, healthcare and savings. The ways that cigarette money would be spent in the absence of smoking significantly differed according to smoking status, gender, age, education, income, rural versus urban residency and geographic region.

Conclusions: Tobacco control may benefit the Russian economy by producing healthier workers and because the money that would have been used for cigarettes would be shifted primarily to groceries, recreation, housing and clothing.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was obtained from Brigham Young University.