Russians don't cut down on cigarettes but learn to avoid no-smoking areas - poll

The number of smokers in Russia has not declined over the past year. A third of the country's population still smoke (34 percent now vs. 35 percent in 2014), the All-Russia Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) has said.

Russians now face fines for smoking in public places, including near metro stations and airports, under new amendments to a broad anti-tobacco law. Source: ITAR-TASS

The number of smokers in Russia has not declined over the past year. A third of the country's population still smoke (34 percent now vs. 35 percent in 2014), the All-Russia Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) has said.

The number of male smokers is twice larger than the number of smokers amongst women (51 percent vs. 19 percent), according to the poll of 1,600 individuals held in 130 populated localities in 46 regions of the country on May 23-24.

A fifth of the respondents (22 percent) admitted smoking a pack of cigarettes a day or even more. Nine percent have two or three cigarettes a day, and 3 percent smoke no more than once a week or a month.

Two-thirds of Russians (66 percent) claim not to smoke, including 55 percent who have never tried a cigarette and 11 percent who have quit the bad habit. Most non-smokers are women (81 percent) and senior citizens (81 percent).

Fifty-four percent of smokers said their smoking habits did not change over the past year. Twenty-nine percent said they were smoking less, and 16 percent increased consumption of cigarettes.

A growing number of smokers do not violate the rules of no-smoking areas, the pollster said.

The percentage of those who smoke only in designated areas has grown from 34 percent in 2014 to 42 percent now. Fourteen percent said they did not have to change their behavioral patterns because they never smoked in no-smoking areas before.

About a third of smokers violate the law: 20 percent of them try to smoke where they will not be seen (stairwells or the like) and 15 percent prefer not to limit themselves and pay fines.

Read more: Smoking ban one month in – what do Russians think?

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.