207315 Sectors of the Russian economy that would benefit from reduced tobacco use

Monday, November 9, 2009

Rebecca A. Castleton , Department of Health Science, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
Gordon Lindsay, PhD , Department of Health Science, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
Ray M. Merrill, PhD, MPH , Department of Health Science, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
Russia is the largest importer of tobacco in the world. The country has a relatively low life expectancy partly due to extremely high tobacco consumption. Tobacco companies argue that control measures will harm the Russian economy. Although research in other countries has refuted this claim, similar analysis needed to be performed in Russia. A nation-wide face-to-face survey of 1599 subjects in 128 cities was conducted in Russia during 2008 with the assistance of the Levada Analytical Center, a national public opinion research company. Current and former smokers were given a list of 14 categories of consumer goods and services and asked to identity how they would or do spend the money saved by not smoking. Frequency distributions, the Rao-Scott chi-square test, post-stratification weights and two-sided test of significance were used in the data analysis. Results showed that when Russians quit smoking, the largest percentage of their saved discretionary money would be redirected to purchasing groceries (44%). The next three most commonly cited categories were recreation (24%), housing (9%) and clothing (8%). These purchases are likely to keep the money in the local economy instead of ending up in the coffers of massive trans-national corporations. Most, but not all, members of the Russian business community should recognize that tobacco control policy serves their economic self-interest. Tobacco control advocates should develop educational and political campaigns that target the business community with the message that when people quit smoking a large variety of economic enterprises benefit because of the shift in consumer spending.

Learning Objectives:
1.) Formulate and distribute effective survey questions which identify where money previously used on tobacco is spent or would be spent. 2.) Analyze participant responses. 3.) Identify sectors of Russia’s economy which would benefit most from increased tobacco control. 4.) Identify and discuss quantifiable economic benefits of decreased tobacco consumption.

Keywords: Tobacco Control, Economic Analysis

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have studied substance abuse and addictive behavior, earned a bachelors degree in Public Health while performing the research in Russia, and researched and read several books, journals, and articles on international tobacco problems and solutions.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.