Putin Wants to Direct Part of Tobacco Taxes to Healthcare


Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, asked the finance and health ministries to develop a scheme of directing a part of excises accumulated on tobacco products to the healthcare sector.

The concept was proposed at a meeting of the State Council presidium by Veronika Skvortsova, the Health Minister, and Alexander Zhilkin, Astrakhan Region Governor.

In his turn, Putin said that the subject must be discussed with the Finance Ministry. There so many things to do in Russia and each thing to do is very important for the country.

Directing taxes on a new goal will be quite difficult and unusual, but the idea is good. Some countries do that but not too many. Putin added that the idea should be taken into consideration. Skvortsova said that health sector will benefit from these money.

The thing is that it is necessary to deal with taxes with care and the process of raising  excises should impemented gradually in order to avoid surprises.

In Soviet times there was made an attempt to fight alcoholism and this attempt was failed because people switched to home-brew and began to consume denaturated alcohol.

The anti-tobacco campaign should include not only smoking ban but promotion of healthy lifestyle and sport. It would be a difficult job because it involves a lot of effort and time, financial resources, creativity. But this is a perfect way to achieve a positive and long-lasting results.

One thing is when you manage to come to agreement with the economic ministers and get some additional funding. However, it is a totally different thing if you get the excises authorized but the general programs are cut.

Alexander Zhilkin made a report for the State Council on the constituent regions’ work to improve the quality of health services and make them easily accessible.

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