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JAMA 100 Years Ago
February 13, 2002


Author Affiliations

JenniferReiling, Assistant Editor

JAMA. 2002;287(6):692. doi:10.1001/jama.287.6.692-JJY20000-2-1

Alcoholism in Russia.—It is difficult to say if it is well for the state to control the sale of spiritous liquors. There are two countries where this principle is carried out, Switzerland and Russia, and in the latter the results would not seem to be encouraging, from the temperance point of view. According to Dr. Fuster, who has seen the conditions obtaining in the different states of Europe, there is no country where so much intemperance exists as in Russia. On Sundays, for instance, drunkards are to be met in almost every street of the small towns. The police do not interfere in general. The shops where liquor is sold are only open at certain hours of the day, and crowds gather around their doors, each man holding in his hand an empty bottle which is to be exchanged for one containing alcohol at 40°. Two-thirds of a quart cost only twenty-two cents, but smaller bottles are sold for only four cents. Cases of death from alcoholic poisoning are not infrequent. Dr. Fuster expressed his opinion that the enactment of restrictive laws was not the best way of suppressing alcoholism, but rather the educating of the moral sense.

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