MOSCOW, December 30 (RIA Novosti) – The sales of alcoholic beverages in Russia grew by 2.6% year-on-year in January-November to 116.4 million decaliters, the Federal Statistics Service (Rosstat) said.
According to a Rosstat report published on Saturday, the sales of vodka increased by 2.1% to 141.7 mln decaliters, brandy – by 7.7% to 10.85 mln decaliters, champagne and sparkling wine – by 4.5% to 24 mln decaliters, and beer – by 4.5% to 970 mln decaliters.
At the same time, the sales of wine declined by 1.6% to 85 mln decaliters and sales of drinks with low-alcohol content went down by 5% to 26.9 mln decaliters.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, modern Russia has been gripped by an epidemic of alcoholism triggering a falling age of death in older men which has only recently begun to reverse.
According to official statistics, more than 2 million Russians suffer from alcoholism.
Alcohol consumption in Russia is more than double the critical level set by the World Health Organization.
The Russian government launched in 2010 a nation-wide campaign to fight pervasive alcohol with the target to cut alcohol consumption in half by 2020 and uproot the illegal market.
The measures to achieve these goals include the introduction of criminal punishment for alcohol production and sales violations, advertising restrictions, a pricing policy dependent on quality, and efforts to promote a healthy lifestyle.