Russia has the highest cigarette consumption the world. And it bears the greatest burden caused by cigarette smoking to the extent that the country has identified tobacco-related illness as a public health crisis. Russians are literally dying for cigarettes.
Funny thing though, this is a consequence of capitalism. Since Communism lost control smoking among men has doubled and among women has trebled. Must be one of those coincidences, huh?
Well, no. Back in the early 1990s. The U.S. Government hired a high-flying consulting firm to advise Boris Yeltsin’s reform government as to how to privatize their economy. The consultant picked was Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital. Besides picking up a juicy government contract, Mitt and his Boston boys saw their opportunities and took them. Bain served as the consigliere to the Russian oligarchy (mob) as it cherry picked the best investments to acquire from the failing bureaucracy.
But Bain did more than advise, they got their hands dirty, brokering a deal to bring in Western tobacco companies who invaded Russia like the Mongol Horde of the 13th century. Marketing men were dispatched to factory gates and to village squares handing out free ciggies to everyone who had lips to suck and lungs to pollute. The cigarettes were “sold” as freedom, as American, as the new thing and the Russians ate them up or smoked them down.
Bain made out like the bandits they were. The market was saturated with American and British tobacco and Bain took its cut.
Mitt Romney can be justly proud, because of him and his gang, more Russians have died than at any time since the Second World War.