yearly consumption of cigarettes was in Armenia (3,000) and Turkmenistan (2,400), followed by Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine. The lowest consumption was in Uzbekistan (less than 1,000). In most of the NIS countries, including the largest (the Russian Federation and Ukraine), the estimated per adult consumption of cigarettes was between 1,500 and 2,000. These per capita cigarette consumption figures are very rough estimates calculated from data on production, imports, and exports (Lopez, personal communication, 1995). Nevertheless, they are sufficiently reliable to suggest the extent of the tobacco epidemic across the NIS.

Adolescent smoking is a matter of special concern. According to the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Russia (1994), there are about 2.5 million adolescent smokers aged 15-17 in Russia. It is an alarming fact that the smoking rates among youngsters are growing. Increases are especially apparent among girls, rising from approximately 12 percent in 1986 to 20 percent in 1993 (Alexandrov et al., no date). A recent large-scale study of over 36,000 senior high school students (aged 15-17) residing in urban areas of the Russian Federation has revealed that smoking rates vary substantially, from 25 to 26 percent in the areas of Kirov and Tver, to 43 to 48 percent in Moscow and Irkutsk (Komarov and Skvortsova, no date). Among males, the average smoking prevalence is 36 percent; daily tobacco users represent the vast majority of smokers. Among senior high school female students, the average smoking prevalence is 17 percent. It may be expected that the popularity of smoking among children and adolescents will increase immensely with the breakthrough of the Western tobacco industry into the markets of the NIS.

Spread of Western Tobacco Products

Before the 1990s, Western tobacco products rarely appeared in the former Soviet market. They were practically unknown across the entire vast Soviet territory, except for big cities such as Moscow and Kiev and major seaports such as Odessa and Tallinn. At that time, the vast majority of tobacco products in the NIS consisted of domestically manufactured filter-tipped and plain cigarettes, as well as papirossi (unfiltered tobacco products with a 1 to 1.5 inch-long tobacco-filled portion and a paper holder). Only about 30 percent of the latter tobacco products were filter-tipped (Heseltine et al., 1987).

However, in the period 1991 to 1993, as shown in Figure 10-1, the importation of both raw tobacco and cigarettes to Russia almost quadrupled and reached unprecedented levels. Along with this increasing importation of tobacco products, the transnational tobacco companies have been actively engaging in joint ventures with former Soviet tobacco factories or buying the bankrupt and disabled cigarette-manufacturing facilities.

The first such company to make a business agreement in Russia was the American Liggett Group, which formed a partnership in 1991 with the Moscow

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