Soviet Union: Another Burning Issue

Another Burning Issue

Tempers are smoldering across the Soviet Union as irate smokers vent their rage over the country's summer-long tobacco shortage. "No tobacco -- no work!" shouted angry factory workers in Kuibyshev who would rather strike than switch. In the Urals town of Perm, nicotine-starved crowds blocked the main street, and "tobacco riots" have hit other cities.

Soviet officials blame factory breakdowns, hoarding by black marketeers and reduced imports from Bulgaria for the cigarette shortage. The protests are regarded as a real threat to perestroika. Moscow's city council announced last week that it would immediately begin rationing cigarettes, limiting consumption to five packs...

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