Russia has more smokers than any other country according to a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report, presented to the Russian health ministry on Tuesday.
The WHO survey, conducted in 2009, found that Russia has 43.9 million smokers, which makes up 40 percent of the population.
The survey also revealed that 60 percent of Russian men and 22 percent of Russian women smoke.
The WHO survey was conducted as part of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control that Russia joined in 2008.
The Russian government has already started taking steps to crack down on the addiction that kills up to 500,000 people a year. It has announced a plan to ban advertising and promotion of cigarettes from 2011 and to introduce a complete ban on smoking in enclosed spaces by 2015. "Smoking kills" warnings have also been introduced on cigarette packages.
"This survey is not a document, but a wake-up call," the head of the Russian WHO office, Luigi Migliorini said.
MOSCOW, November 9 (RIA Novosti)