Smoking as a factor of reduced life expectancy in Russia

  • Polina Kuznetsova Institute for Social Analysis and Forecasting at RANEPA
Ключевые слова: smoking, mortality, causes of death, life expectancy, healthy life expectancy


Smoking is an important factor of preventable mortality in Russia. According to the author’s calculations, based on international estimates of the relative risks of mortality for smokers and Russian data on smoking prevalence, self-assessment of health and mortality by causes of death, in 2017 the life expectancy of smokers was 5.2-5.3 years lower than that of non-smokers, while healthy life expectancy was 2.6-3.2 years lower.

Since 2005, smoking-related standardized mortality rates have been steadily declining, generally repeating the changes in mortality from all causes in Russia during this period. However, the aggregated data conceal significant gender differences – the main decrease in smoking-related mortality was observed among men. The smoking epidemic among men started earlier and is now at a more mature stage (decline) than among women (stagnation or even growth for some groups).

From 2004 to 2017, the life expectancy of women smokers increased significantly more (by more than a year and a half) than for non-smokers, although for men such a trend is not observed. The decomposition of differences in life expectancy between smokers and non-smokers shows that the advantage in life expectancy of non-smoking women mainly decreased in the age range from 50 to 69 years, mainly as a result of changes in mortality from cardiovascular diseases. For men, a similar reduction of the advantage in life expectancy of non-smokers compared to smokers occurred at younger ages, from 40 to 64 years. At older ages, non-smokers compensate for their lag in the increase of life expectancy; however, since for women this trend is observed later and on a smaller scale, life expectancy of women smokers in the study period grows faster.


Данные скачивания пока не доступны.


Andreev E., Shkolnikov V. (2018). The relationship between mortality and economic development in Russia and its regions. Demographic Review, 5(1), 6-24. (In Russ.). Retrieved from URL:

Andreev E., Shkolnikov V., Begun A. (2002). Algorithm for decomposition of differences between aggregate demographic measures and its application to life expectancies, healthy life expectancies, parity-progression ratios and total fertility rates. Demographic Research, 7(14), 499-522. Retrieved from URL:

Andreev E.M., Shkolnikov V.M. (2012). An Excel spreadsheet for the decomposition of a difference between two values of an aggregate demographic measure by stepwise replacement running from young to old ages. Rostock: Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR Technical Report TR–2012–002). Retrieved from URL:

Calle E.. Rodriguez C., Jacobs E., Almon M. Chao A., Mccullough M., Feigelson H., Thun M. (2002). The American cancer society cancer prevention study II nutrition cohort: rationale, study design, and baseline characteristics. Cancer: Interdisciplinary International Journal of the American Cancer Society, 94(9), 2490-2501. doi: 10.1002/cncr.101970.

Denisova I. (2010) Adult mortality in Russia. The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 18(2), 333-363. Retrieved from URL:

Efimova E.V., Konobeevskaya I.N., Maksimenko G.V., Karpov R.S. (2017). Smoking and cardiovascular mortality in Tomsk inhabitants as a typical city of Western Siberia. Cardiovascular Therapy and Prevention, 16(6), 115-121. (In Russ.). Retrieved from URL:

Ezzati M., Henley J., Thun M.J., Lopez A.D. (2005b). Role of Smoking in Global and Regional Cardiovascular Mortality. Circulation. 112(4), 489-497. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.104.521708

Ezzati M., Henley S.J., Lopez A.D., Thun M.J. (2005a). Role of smoking in global and regional cancer epidemiology: Current patterns and data needs. International journal of cancer, 116(6), 963-971. doi:10.1002/ijc.21100

Grigoriev P., Meslé F., Shkolnikov V., Andreev E., Fihel A., Pechholdova M., Vallin J. (2014). The Recent Mortality Decline in Russia: Beginning of the Cardiovascular Revolution? Population and Development Review, 40(1), 107-129. Retrieved from URL:

How to overcome Russia’s lag in life expectancy? (2016). Demographic Review, 2(3), 154-201. (In Russ.). Retrieved from URL:

Hwang J., Kim J., Lee D., Jung H. (2018). Underestimation of Self-Reported Smoking Prevalence in Korean Adolescents: Evidence from Gold Standard by Combined Method. International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(4), 689. Retrieved from URL:

Jha P., Jacob B., Gajalakshmi V., Gupta P. C., Dhingra N., Kumar R., Sinha D. N., Dikshit R. P., Parida D. K., Kamadod R., Boreham J., Peto R. (2008). A Nationally Representative Case–Control Study of Smoking and Death in India. New England Journal of Medicine, 358(11), 1137-1147. Retrieved from URL:

Jha P., Peto R. (2014). Global Effects of Smoking, of Quitting, and of Taxing Tobacco. The New England Journal of Medicine, 370 (1), 60–68. doi:10.1056/NEJMra1308383.

Jha P., Ramasundarahettige C., Landsman V., Rostron B., Thun P., Peto R. (2013). 21st-Century hazards of smoking and benefits of cessation in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine, 368(4), 341-350. doi: 10.1056/NEJMsa1211128

Kalabikhina I.E., Kuznetsova P.O. (2019). Gender aspects of tobacco epidemic in Russia. Journal of the New Economic Association (to be published in number 4). (In Russ.).

Kong K., Jung-Choi K., Lim D., Lee H., Lee W., Baik S., Park S., Park H. (2016). Comparison of Prevalence- and Smoking Impact Ratio-Based Methods of Estimating Smoking-Attributable Fractions of Deaths. Journal of epidemiology, 26(3), 145-54. doi: 10.2188/jea.JE20150058

Konstantinov V.V., Shalnova S.A., Kireev C.V., Timofeeva T.N., Shestov D.B., Kapustina A.V., Balanova Yu.A., Lel’chuk I.N., Deev A.D. (2007). Associations of mortality relative risk, smoking status, alcohol intake, and educational level in women. Russian Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, 14(3), 19-27. (In Russ.).

Laatikainen T., Vartiainen E., Puska P. (1999). Comparing smoking and smoking cessation process in the Republic of Karelia, Russia and North Karelia, Finland. Journal of epidemiology and community health, 53(9), 528–534. doi:10.1136/jech.53.9.528

Liutkute V., Veryga A., Štelemekas M., Goštautaite N. (2017). Burden of smoking in Lithuania: attributable mortality and years of potential life lost. European Journal of Public Health, 27(4), 736-741. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckx035

Lopez A., Collishaw N., Piha T. (1994). A descriptive model of the cigarette epidemic in developed countries. Tobacco Control, 3(3), 242–247. Retrieved from URL:

Maslennikova G.Ia., Oganov R.G. (2011). Medical and socioeconomic damage caused by smoking in the Russian Federation: diseases of circulatory system. Russian Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, 14(3), 19-27. (In Russ.).

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (US) Office on Smoking and Health (2014). The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US), Chapter 12, Smoking-Attributable Morbidity, Mortality, and Economic Costs.

Oza S., Thun M., Henley J., Lopez A., Ezzati M. (2011). How many deaths are attributable to smoking in the United States? Comparison of methods for estimating smoking-attributable mortality when smoking prevalence changes. Preventive Medicine, 52 (6), 428-433. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.04.007

Papanova Е.К., Shkolnikov V.M., Timonin S.A. (2019). Distinctive features and components of mortality decrease in Moscow in 1989-2017. Demographic Review, 6(1), 50-103. (In Russ.). Retrieved from URL:

Perlman F., Bobak M., Gilmore A. B., Mckee M. (2007). Trends in the prevalence of smoking in Russia during the transition to a market economy. Tobacco Control, 16(5), 299–305. Retrieved from URL:

Peto R., Lopez A., Boreham J., Thun M., Heath C., Doll R. (1992) Mortality from Tobacco in Developed Countries: Indirect Estimation from National Vital Statistics. Lancet, 339, 1268-1278.

Plavinski S.L., Plavinskaya S.I. (2012). Smoking and mortality in a large prospective study. Russian family doctor, 16(2), 29-36. (In Russ.).

Preston S., Heuveline P., Guillot M. (2001). Demography: Measuring and modeling population processes. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Quirmbach D., Gerry C. (2016). Gender, education and Russia’s tobacco epidemic: A life-course approach. Social Science & Medicine, 160, 54-66. Retrieved from URL:

Shkolnikov V.M., Andreev E.M., McKee M., Leon D.A. (2013). Components and possible determinants of decrease in Russian mortality in 2004-2010. Demographic Research, 28(32), 917-950. Retrieved from URL:

Shkolnikov V.M., Andreev E.M., McKee M., Leon D.A. (2014). Rising life expectancy in Russia of the 2000s. Demographic Review, 1(2), 5-37. (In Russ.). Retrieved from URL:

Thun M.J, Apicella L.F., Henley S.J. (2000). Smoking vs Other Risk Factors as the Cause of Smoking-Attributable Deaths: Confounding in the Courtroom. Jama, 284(6),706–712. doi:10.1001/jama.284.6.706

Timonin S., Danilova I., Andreev E., Shkolnikov V.M. (2017). Recent Mortality Trend Reversal in Russia: Are Regions Following the Same Tempo? European Journal of Population, 33(5), 733-763.

Vishnevsky A. (2015). Mortality in Russia: the second epidemiologic revolution that never was. Demographic Review, 1(4), 5-40. (In Russ.). Retrieved from URL:

World Health Organization (WHO) (2016). Global Adult Tobacco Survey: Russian Federation. Executive Summary. (In Russ.). URL: (data downloaded on 14.06.2019).

Как цитировать
Kuznetsova, P. (2020). Smoking as a factor of reduced life expectancy in Russia. Демографическое обозрение, 6(5), 141-161.
Оригинальные статьи