Deputy State Duma Sultan Khamzaev criticized the results of studies showing a decrease in the number of smoking Russians during the coronavirus pandemic. He accused the authorities of certain regions of the lack of prevention of smoking.
“Experts report an alleged decrease in the number of smoking Russians by 13%. I question the given data. People did not smoke less during the pandemic, these are the tricks of the tobacco lobby. People began to smoke more, and tobacco sales speak about this,” the politician said.
At the same time, Khamzaev acknowledged that the situation varies depending on the specific region. For example, in the Jewish Autonomous Region, Buryatia, Yakutia and the Sakhalin Region, about a third of the adult population smokes, while in the republics of the North Caucasus this figure does not even reach 10%. The parliamentarian is sure that the responsibility for the large number of smoking population lies with the heads of these regions, who, in his opinion, “are not concerned about this” issue.
“The regional authorities are not particularly concerned about this. The answer to the question of what they are doing to change these statistics is very simple: nothing. They should do this, maintaining the health of citizens is the direct responsibility of the governors,” the deputy emphasized.
He recalled that the task of saving people was set by the President of Russia. In this regard, it is necessary to carry out “large-scale prevention and promotion” aimed against tobacco smoking in the regions.
Earlier, the audit and consulting network FinExpertiza conducted a study, according to which the number of Russian smokers decreased by 13%, or 3.63 million people, over the period from 2020 to 2021. According to analysts, the share of smokers on average in the country is more than 20%.