Friday, 16 Nov 2018
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Vietnam gov't seeks to reduce use of alcoholic drinks

Updated at Friday, 09 Nov 2018, 18:30
The Hanoitimes - According to the government’s reports, Vietnam consumes average 4.1 billion liters of beer and 305 million liters of alcohol per year, ranking among the tenth largest beer consumers in Asia and the biggest in Southeast Asia.
Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien on November 9 presented at the National Assembly’s ongoing plenum a draft law to preventing and combatting harmful effects of alcohol and beer while this industry is considered lucrative in a country of nearly 100 million people.
 
Beer consumption. Photo: Internet
Beer consumption. Photo: Internet
The draft bill focuses on measures to curb the demand, supply, and effects caused by alcoholic drinks.  

The document also demonstrates supervision of advertising, sponsoring, and promoting alcohol and beer. 

According to the government’s reports, Vietnam consumes average 4.1 billion liters of beer and 305 million liters of alcohol per year, ranking among the tenth largest beer consumers in Asia and second in Southeast Asia. 

Drinking alcohol claimed nearly 79,000 lives and made thousands of people in Vietnam hospitalized in 2016. 

The use of alcohol costs Vietnam an amount of VND65 trillion (US$2.82 billion), VND25.7 trillion (US$1.1 billion) for alcohol-related diseases treatment, and VND50 trillion (US$2.2 billion) for alcohol-caused traffic incidents annually. 

Nguyen Huy Quang, head of the Ministry of Health’s Legal Department, said that the draft law shows Vietnam’s strong commitments in implementing sustainable growth goas. 

The World Health Organization has proposed three measures to curb the use of alcoholic drink namely limiting opportunities to approach alcohol and beer, controlling advertisement of these products, and raising taxes and selling prices. 

But Vietnam’s draft law has not mentioned the increased taxes and prices of alcohol and beer, Quang said, explaining that the policy makers face the dilemma of economic benefits and health.

Regarding this draft law, CEO of the Carlsberg Group Cees't Hart told Hanoitimes in an interview that the Danish brewer preventing the social and health consequences of alcohol abuse, and “highly appreciate” the prime minister’s instruction to remove the health fund. 
Linh Pham
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