One in four Russians say no measures taken to fight alcohol abuse will be effective against the national vice and commonest stereotype about Russia.
A survey carried out by the recruitment portal SuperJob.ru showed 24% of Russian citizens believe the introduction of anti-alcohol measures in the country would not improve the situation, which President Dmitry Medvedev said was tantamount to a national security threat.
Russia's chief sanitary doctor recently proposed a ban on sales of all alcoholic beverages after 9 p.m. and raising the legal age for drinking alcohol from current 18 to 21.
A quarter of Russians said restrictions on the sales of alcohol would simply increase the number of people who obtain vodka through illegal means or get their alcohol from substances not intended for human consumption. As a result, the nation's health may come under even greater threat.
Alcohol consumption in Russia is more than double the critical level set by the World Health Organization, a WHO report said last fall.
According to Russia's Public Chamber, some 500,000 people die every year from alcohol-related diseases, crimes and accidents. For every man, woman and child in Russia, 17 liters of spirits are consumed every year, and around 2 billion liters of alcohol are drunk in the country annually.
Some 17% of Russians believe the introduction of a ban on alcohol sales after 9 p.m. would be an effective measure and over 60% of Russians believe that such a measure should still be introduced.
The survey showed only 16% of Russians expect that raising the drinking age to 21 would make a difference, while some 18% said higher alcohol excise taxes would help by making alcoholic drinks more expensive.
Russia has already tripled excise duties on beer as part of the anti-alcohol campaign.
Those who said "yes" to these measures believe they would be as effective in Russia as they are in other countries.
A few people (6%) believe the government can succeed in fighting alcohol abuse by introducing a limit on the number of bottles permitted to be sold to one person and setting a maximum beverage container volume of 0.5 liters.
Last year, Medvedev proposed a bill permitting sales of beer and alcoholic cocktails only in 0.33-liter bottles and cans.
Among other measures proposed to lower alcohol consumption in the country were improving living standards in the country, along with intensive social work and advertizing, SuperJob.ru said.
Some of the respondents proposed harsher measures to achieve the goal. They said the state should confiscate housing from hard drinkers and send them to the countryside, where they could be of more use working in agricultural development.
Other proposals include dismissing alcoholics without severance pay, imprisoning them for 30 days and introducing a complete ban on alcohol advertizing.
MOSCOW, March 17 (RIA Novosti)