Catastrophe of a nation – sudden disintegration of Soviet Union. Alcoholism was designated a national disaster. Men life expectancy just 60 years, Germany 77. Better for women: 73. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, alcohol and tobacco use have risen, unemployment and poverty started and soared. A big increase in smoking among women, who are being targeted by tobacco companies. Traditionally, rates of smoking among Russian women have been very low, but now, almost 30 percent among those under 30 smoke. In the 1990s, Russia experienced a resurgence of tuberculosis, considered a disease of poverty. HIV in Russia has more than doubled since 2001. While largely confined to injecting drug users, HIV remains a challenge.


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