Alternative tobacco and nicotine products in Russia

The heated tobacco market is developing in Russia, which can be seen in number of new brands, greater availability in mainstream retail, growing traffic to heated tobacco websites and increasing online searches. This page offers you all our data content and in-depth analysis of this region, both from the market and legislative perspective.

In a nutshell: Russian market

Russia has one of the highest male smoking rates in the world, as according to the last Russian Federation Federal State Statistics Service (ROSSTAT) in 2019, 40% of men smoke, while only 11% of women do. However, smoking rates differ notably between the east and west regions.

The historic international trade figures for tobacco-related products in the country show how cigarette imports and exports declined between 2018 and 2019, at the benefit of other tobacco and its substitutes – a category that has experienced 14% growth in imports and 32% in exports.

Imports into Russia were clearly led by Germany until 2019, when it reduced by more than half to share a similar split with Armenia and Poland. Exports from Russia have experienced the opposite scenario, with Kazakhstan and Iraq as the two principal exporting countries of tobacco products in 2019.

Oral products have a good market opportunity due to the following factors:

– High smoking rates
– Uptake of other tobacco alternatives
– Long history of smokeless product usage
– Public places smoking ban

Oral tobacco in Russia has recently become a regulation target.

In 2015, wholesale and retail of nasvay (naswar – a powdered tobacco snuff), oral tobacco (snus) and nicotine-containing food products were banned. In July 2020, tobacco-free snus was also declared a banned product.

According to Russian law, online retail of oral tobacco is illegal. However, we were able to identify several active websites marketing these products.