We investigate alcohol consumption as one of the main factors contributing to variation in the gender gap in life expectancy in the Russian regions. We consider the socioeconomic indicators and mortality coefficients that enable us to capture the causes of death related primarily to alcohol abuse and smoking. We assume that macroeconomic situation, coupled with alcohol consumption are substantial determinants of the gender gap in life expectancy in the Russian regions. A panel data analysis confirms that alcohol consumption has a significant influence on the gender gap in life expectancy and reduces the life expectancy of men first and foremost, as they are more inclined toward unhealthy behaviours. We have determined that employment and income support policies should be conducted in conjunction with the anti-alcohol policy. Social policy aimed at reducing alcohol consumption should be vigorously reinforced during an economic recovery.