Sep 10, 2008

You Can Limit Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Association,...

But don't you DARE try to limit smoking in Russia!

NY Times: The average life expectancy of male Russians hovers around 60, and health analysts say the heavy rate of smoking (60% of males) here plays a big role in a looming population drop that has economists quite worried. Yet the Russian government seems reluctant to tackle the high smoking rate. It has barely invested in anti-tobacco ads and education. Moreover, a pack of cigarettes in Russia can cost as little as 25 cents because tobacco is hardly taxed.

While the Kremlin tends to keep a strong grip on Russian politics, it remains sensitive to broad-based protests over issues like inflation, pensions and housing, as well as tobacco and alcohol. Dmitri Yanin, one of Russia’s top specialists on tobacco control, said officials did not want to curb smoking because they remembered the response to cigarette shortages and crackdowns on alcohol in the 1980s...

Oh and don't worry, Russians are not to blame for the smoking problem. Who is?Foreigners: Dr. Gennadi G. Onishchenko, the chief health inspector, has described foreign tobacco as responsible for the “nicotine genocide” of the Russian people.

Seriously, can one day go by without the ridiculous use of the word "genocide"? It's not a catch-all people. It's a word with a definition. Let's stop throwing it around. Thank you.


Pirates(and)Diplomats said...

What the hell is up with the use of "genocide" in Russia, these days.

Everything is genocide.

Ern said...

It's the in thing...

...the Armenian genocide
...genocide in Kosovo
...and now Nicotine genocide.

Pirates(and)Diplomats said...

While we're at it, we should consider adding:

...telenovela genocide.
...beach volleyball genocide.

...and genocide genocide (as a catch-all).