Drink and Smoke More!

Russia's finance minister, Alexei Kudrin, has urged his countrymen and women to boost the country's revenues by drinking and smoking more. "If you smoke a pack of cigarettes, that means you are giving more to help social problems," said Kudrin.

Russia, noted for its high consumption of both cigarettes and alcohol has among the lowest duties on cigarettes in Europe. In June, plans to double the excise duty on cigarettes for 1,000 cigarettes were outlined.

The comments by the minister seem to contradict recent government moves to control Russia's excessive nature and improve its life expectancy rates.

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