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Working paper

Healthy Lifestyles in Russia: Old Issues and New Policies

Individuals’ lifestyles strongly affect health outcomes and thus are a subject for public regulations in all developed countries. In this paper we discuss how different policy measures change individual behaviour with respect to consuming alcohol, tobacco products, and healthy food and participating in sports activities. We start by presenting data on health-related behaviours in Russia compared to other countries and show that the majority of Russians do not pay enough attention to their health and underestimate the risks of unhealthy behaviour. We analyse the public policy response to the increasing number of people with unhealthy habits to prove that drawbacks in legal acts and in public procurement increase the prevalence of bad habits. We therefore propose different policy instruments to improve the current situation and analyse the possible impacts and costs of suggested measures.