Most Russians like alcohol, vodka is top preference - sociologists
Some 68 percent of Russians drink alcohol from time to time, and vodka, sparking wine and beer top the preference list, the Public Opinion Foundation said.
Men (75 percent) like drinking more than women (68 percent).
Twenty-one percent of respondents said they never drank alcohol and 10 percent stopped drinking, 4 percent of them did so because of bad health and 2 percent did so because of advanced age and the lack of desire.
Speaking of their preferences, the Russians mentioned vodka (27 percent), beer (23 percent), sparking wine or champagne (21 percent), table wine (15 percent) and cognac (12 percent). Much fewer Russians prefer whiskey and strong wine (5 percent each) or hooch (4 percent). The least popular alcoholic beverages are liqueur (2 percent) and gin (1 percent).
In spite of their preferences, 18 percent of the respondents said they were mostly consuming vodka, 16 percent drank beer, 11 percent drank table wine, 9 percent drank sparking wine and champagne and 5 percent drank cognac.
Fifty-seven percent said they preferred drinking in the company of other people and 10 percent said they could drink alone.
Twenty-three percent of the respondents told sociologists they drank several times a year; 18 percent drank once a month, and 18 percent drank two or three times a month. Five percent of the respondents drink twice or three times a week. Two percent claimed they drank once a year or even less. None of the respondents admitted to drinking every day.
Forty-four percent of Russians said they consumed alcohol only on festive occasions (22 percent do so on holidays and not only then).
According to the poll, 43 percent of Russians have a positive attitude toward people who do not drink alcohol although their health allows drinking. Six percent declare a calm attitude toward such people, 5 percent say it is their choice and 3 percent admire them. Yet 2 percent have negative sentiments about non-drinkers and 1 percent of respondents treat them with suspicion. One percent claim non-drinkers are sick.
Over a third of the respondents (36 percent) said people in their home area started drinking more in the past two or three years, 11 percent claimed the opposite trend, and 41 percent said there had been no change.
About a half of Russians (45 percent) are confident that people in the country are drinking more than they did in the 1970s-1980s. Nine percent argue the opposite, and 20 percent say nothing has changed.
The sociologists polled 1,500 people in 100 populated localities in 43 regions.