Losses caused by the excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages total at least VND65 trillion per year, far outpacing economic gains, reported Thanh Nien newspaper.
|People make a toast at a party. Losses caused by the excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages total at least VND65 trillion annually -|
The losses are much higher than profits generated by the local alcoholic beverage sector, at VND50 trillion per year, according to Pham Viet Cuong, director of the Center for Injury Policy and Prevention Research, under the Hanoi University of Public Health.
Meanwhile, the latest draft of a law on control over alcoholic beverages still poses more loopholes, with many regulations becoming less stringent or being eliminated compared with previous versions, according to experts at a conference on May 20 in Hanoi.
Fifteen associations, scientific research organizations and individuals associated with the Vietnam Non-Communicable Disease Prevention Alliance (NCDs-VN) at the meeting wrote to the Government and the National Assembly, proposing they reconsider the draft law’s name; control over advertising, marketing and sponsorship activities for spirits and beers with an alcohol content below 15%; and whether establishing a fund to improve public health is necessary.
Tran Tuan, head of the NCDs-VN’s coordination board, said that bans on activities to advertise alcoholic products on the internet and social media platforms and bans on publicity for these products in sponsoring cultural, sports and educational events had been removed from the draft.
In addition, bans on alcohol sales at bus stops and in parking lots and restrictions on nighttime sales of alcohol were eliminated from the draft as well, said Nguyen Huy Quang, head of the Ministry of Health’s Legal Department.
Also, the latest draft law bans marketing and promotion activities for wine products with an alcohol content of over 15%, while this has not been applied to beer, according to Quang.
Beer products do contain alcohol and can lead to addiction, he said. Damage triggered by excessive consumption of either liquor or beer is the same.
Consumption of liquor and beer is directly linked to at least 30 diseases and types of injuries and indirectly leads to some 200 other diseases, said Cuong of the Center for Injury Policy and Prevention Research. SGT