Gender Aspects of the Tobacco Epidemic in Russia

Polina Kuznetsova , Russian Academy of National Economy and Public AdministrationRANEPA
Irina E. Kalabikhina, Moscow State University

Smoking prevalence among men in Russia is one of the highest in the world, while among women it has increased in 1990-ies. In the 2010s after two decades of full liberalization, tobacco control policies have tightened significantly, leading to a steady decline in smoking prevalence, observed for the first time in the post-Soviet period. However, this decline affected mainly men, while smoking among women stagnated and even increased among certain groups. In our study, we focus on several research questions. First, we provide a detailed quantitative assessment of the effect of smoking on mortality. Using national data on mortality and smoking and international estimates of the relative risks of mortality for smokers, we estimate the tobacco attributable mortality in 2004-2017. According to the obtained results, in 2017 tobacco was the main cause of 235 000 deaths in Russia. It was also estimated that the life expectancy of smokers was lower by 5,2-5,3 years if compared to non-smokers. Next, we shift the focus of research to the micro level, trying to reveal individual and household determinants of smoking. The results confirm the hypothesis of a less mature stage of the smoking epidemic among women compared with men: female smoking is still concentrated in relatively more privileged groups, namely in urban areas and especially in the major cities. A complex relationship was also revealed between smoking, overweight and gender. On the final stage of our research we discuss the problem of non-decreasing female smoking in Russia in the context of the incomplete gender transition.

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 Presented in Session P2. Poster Session Ageing, Health and Mortality