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Moscow to introduce night-time spirit ban

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Moscow to introduce night-time spirit ban

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From September 1, Muscovites will be unable to buy spirits at more that 15 per cent strength between the hours of 10pm until 10am.

It is all part of a government-led anti-alcohol campaign aimed at halving consumption by the end of the decade. More that 23,000 people die of alcohol poisoning every year.

In 1985, President Gorbachev also tried to limit vodka sales but it triggered a rush on shops by consumers and a hike in prices on the black market.

Russia has long since sought a solution to the problem which has reduced male life expectancy to 60 years. Currently the average yearly consumption is put at 18 litres a year, more than twice the norm set by the World Health Organisation.