Friday, July 15, 2005

Vodka and Death in Russia

One of the most enduring images of the former Russian President Boris Yeltsin is making important speeches while drunk high on vodka. Now two researchers suggest that there is more to vodka drinking in Russia than anecdotal stereotypes- it is actually the liberalization of vodka production and distribution that has contributed to increasing mortality rates, which are now about 16.9 per 1000- a rate comparable to the worst AIDS afflicted African regions. Interestingly, the mortality rates are not the worst among the poorest sections.

Vladmir Putin has recently expressed support for the nationalization of vodka distribution

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