However, four out of ten people in Russia smoke almost a pack of cigarettes a day, and the culture amongst Russians who smoke (and Koreans to a lesser degree) seems to be very different than most Western countries. The Russian government is contemplating what to do about the growing problem of smoking. Russian men already have a staggering low life expectancy rate of only 58 years. It is mostly from heavy drinking, but the smoking cannot be helping.
"The problem with prohibition is you can't change the way people think."
Indeed, I think the same is true for Korea. People smoke to feel better about themselves. They smoke because they are depressed and a cigarette is a quick pick me up.
Sad that it seems the people of Russia enjoy more freedom and prosperity now than they did under communism, but do not appear to be any happier.