Russian Finance Minister Encouraging to Drink and Smoke – 4 Sep 10


Yesterday I read something that I could not believe at first but which was confirmed by several serious sources on the internet, too. The Russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin advises people to smoke and drink more. The reason for this statement is outrageous: the more cigarettes and alcohol are sold, the more social help the government could be able to give because of the money they get through taxes! Just to make it clear again: the finance minister asks people to smoke and drink so that the government can help others! Isn’t that a crazy statement? In a country where already 65% of all men are addicted alcoholics!

I always used to think, if everybody knows that smoking creates cancer and alcohol destroys your liver, why does the government not simply ban it? Why are there so many factories busy with the production of cigarettes and different alcoholic beverages? On each packet of cigarettes it is written that smoking causes cancer, pollutes the environment and is reason for an early death but it is still sold! I thought governments should just ban it, simply not allow cigarettes to be sold. I knew that it was just a fantasy but it was a good thought. However it is not going to happen because the government gets money through taxes!

Well, this is a thought that you have somewhere in the back of the mind. Still you tend to believe that politicians are aware of the bad effects of smoking and drinking, that they would like to reduce it and just don’t see possibilities to fully stop it. This statement however so bad and it even creates a feeling of disgust! Why would a leading politician, a minister talk like this? This actually makes me dislike politics even more. Politicians are leaders and should be a good example but they are encouraging people to drink and smoke! They encourage them to get sick and ruin their health! If you are in a leading position, you should use your position to help, not to destroy!

Alcohol and Tobacco makes you ill! Who is going to help those who are smoking and drinking when they are in hospitals? You want to get tax revenue but you don’t think how bad their situation will be? They are going to be the ones who need your help then! They will have physical problems, they will have psychological problems, there will be more crime because of drunken people and more deaths in the consequence! Or do you think once you make them addicted, you can get rid of your responsibility? Are they not humans to take care of?

You might not be there anymore to see these consequences of your action and anyway you are the finance minister, not the health minister, but politicians should feel ashamed to talk like this!


While I am thinking of health problems that Russia will have if they follow their minister’s advice, my main focus is of course on the situation here in Vrindavan. Today our team will go with a doctor and medicine to the colonies to provide medical help to the flood victims. The water level sunk a bit but yesterday it was raining, starting at about five and ending only today sometime in the early morning. So we will see, what the situation is today and will report to you tomorrow.



16 Replies to “Russian Finance Minister Encouraging to Drink and Smoke – 4 Sep 10”

  1. What about all the money that will have to be spent on health when people are having more heart attacks, strokes, liver disease and cancer, Im sure the Russian health minister wont be too happy with that statement. its all swings and roundabouts !

  2. I think over there the government ministers too are probably mostly alcoholic, and also many heavy smokers, and there are probably strong lobbyists for alcohol and tobacco industries there who may very likely be giving lots of money to the government ministers. Combine that with widespread atheism and also no spiritual or substantive philosophical outlook to speak of, and it becomes easy to expect that these government people act the way they do.

  3. Live and let live… as long as it ain’t happening all over your back yard…this is where free will and choice is applicable… to be or not to be… to do or not to do… its not forced…its up to the people to do whats right by themselves….Athma Namaste

  4. @ Patricia:Fine, live and let live, but politicians have some influence and are role models in some way, right? So this man said you should smoke and drink more and so many people will now give this as an argument to smoke and drink.
    It is up to everybody to do as they want but he gave them another justification to damage their bodies… which I believe everybody agrees is not good.
    Apart from that smoking and drinking does affect everybody. Even if you just stand next to a smoker, you inhale all the dirt and if you are the driver with whom the drunk driver collided you will also agree that a minister should not have told him to drink, I believe

  5. Funny, until now I only heard the opinion that he is crazy, he has not thought that health care costs will be more in future…A new angle
    But seriously, the health minister will not be very happy about this statement, will he?

  6. Here in the United States health care costs are a huge concern, and are also a huge concern for me personally right now. So I suppose it is mostly that I saw the question and wrote the first answer that came to mind. As far as I know rates of smoking and drinking in Russia are among the highest in the world. It is possible the minister was merely urging his citizens to consume for the short term economic benefit that would accrue immediately from increased consumption. Honestly, I haven’t a clue.

  7. Seems like politicians care only about their position and power. Their public appearance and speech is not what bothers them. To invite your nation to start drinking and smoking isn’t acceptable not even as a joke.

  8. What this minister said could only be said in Russia I think. It`s of curse unbelievable that a politican in a powerfull position says something like this.
    But on the other hand he said the thruth, he just said what the most financial minister`s in this world would also like to say, they just don`t say it because they know they would loose there position in there countrys.
    To forbit smoking is not a good idea from my point of view, this should be a free world, everybody should decide himself if he/she like`s to smoke or not. Of curse everybody should know the risk of smoking, but I guess the people already know.
    Trinking a beer is not as bad as mentioned, nobody will get trunk if he/she trinks one or two beers. Here in Germany beer is part of our cultur like it is in some other countrys too. I do also like to trink a beer from time to time, that doesn`t made me loos my mind or become an alcoholic. Even in the holy book of Havamal good`s advise is “Take the beer glas if you like, but don`t take to much!” (This is a free translation from the german version “Lange zum Becher nur, doch leer´ ihn mit Maß”). Trinking a bootle of vodka a day is surly something compleatly different.
    So finaly from my point of view it should be everbody`s free decicion if one like`s to toxicat himself or not.

  9. I’m not really sure why cigarettes are legal. I suppose it all has to do with marketing and money, you can regulate cigarettes and the money made from them, maybe drugs are ilegal because they are harder for the Gov to control.

  10. I think like many beliefs, traditions, and laws the acceptance of cigs compared to the outlawing of drugs prob started from good intentions that just need to be reevaluated but are so old and deeply engrained that no one has yet.

  11. I don’t know much about the social situation in Russia, but it seems like drinking alcohol and smoking is very common? Seems like this political leader is feeding into an already troubling problem for the country. It is unfortunate that a leader like himself couldn’t recommend something else! There are lots of other consumer products that would boost the economy without harming the health of everyone… but I guess he probably is a lobbyist for the alcohol and tobacco industries…

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