Putin targets secondhand smoke, cigarette sales — hopes to reverse population decline

But not too many people die from smoking in their child-bearing years.

“Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law that will ban smoking in most public places and restrict cigarette sales in the world’s second-largest tobacco market after China…

Putin, who started a new six-year term in 2012 and has promoted healthy lifestyles, hopes the law will help undermine an entrenched cigarette culture and reverse a decline in Russia’s population since the collapse of the Soviet Union…”

Read more at Reuters.

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4 responses to “Putin targets secondhand smoke, cigarette sales — hopes to reverse population decline

  1. Russia’s population decline mirrors or perhaps leads the general population decline in wealthier nations, for all that Russia is a poor country. Russian families have been weak throughout the Communist era and will need a generation at least to recover. When raising children means living in crowded, noisy, smelly conditions, people are likely to raise fewer children. When those children would have bleak prospects for living a more comfortable life, or a life of achievement, then the incentives become weaker yet.
    The US is on the same curve. Smoking has nothing to do with it.

  2. It’s not that people die of smoking; they simply don’t get born. Smoking screws up reproductive behaviour, in more than one way. First, smoking women are less likely to mate (I wouldn’t want to be near a smoker, let alone think about having children with one). I believe the same applies to men, to a large extent. Then, at least in Russia it is common for women to terminate pregnancies if they smoked around the moment of inception. The belief that smoking can result in birth defects is strong (whether valid or not), and doctors recommend abortions in such cases. I know quite a few women who quit smoking just to give birth to a child and resumed immediately afterwards. Those women would typically end up having a single child.

  3. The threat from Smoking is that giving it up leads to higher Medicare and Social Security costs from the increased longevity. The same reasoning applies to all healthy lifestyle actions. Just look at President Reagan, a very fit man, who took so long to pass after Alzheimer’s hit him.

  4. If there were a genie that would only two wishes, I’d with for a ban on income tax and what today is called “the Precautionary Principle”. Can you imagine the restoration of liberties, independent wealth creation and sound science-based public policies that could become possible?

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