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Russia Ranks 75th in Affordability of Drugs, Alcohol and Cigarettes

Sergei Vedyashkin / Moskva News Agency

Smokers, drinkers and other drug-enthusiasts in Russia found it slightly cheaper to buy their poison of choice in the past year, although the so-called “vice basket” was reportedly more affordable in 74 other countries.   

Russia placed 75th out of 100 countries in a list ranking the affordability of drugs, alcohol and tobacco published by Bloomberg on Wednesday, climbing eight spots from 2016.

Russian consumers had to fork out $375 for the basket of “vice” products, or 350 percent of weekly income. That was a $150 markdown from the previous year, according to the index. 

Luxembourg, the Bahamas and Switzerland topped the list of countries where drugs, alcohol and cigarettes were cheapest relative to income. In Ukraine, on the other hand, consumers had to spend 13 times their weekly salary to get their fix.

With U.S. prices set as the list’s global benchmark, the United States itself ranked 38 in the affordability of “vice goods.” The plunge from 17th last year marks the highest drop among the 100 countries in the list. 

In addition to cigarettes and alcoholic beverages, the Bloomberg Global Vice Index tracks average retail prices of cocaine, cannabis, opioids and amphetamines as part of the “shadow” drug economy.

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