Friday, 16 Nov 2018
SOCIAL AFFAIR

Vietnamese drink much more than Singaporeans

Updated at Friday, 09 Nov 2018, 11:02
The Hanoitimes - Hazardous alcoholic consumption deprives valuable resources presumably allocated to health care and development in Vietnam.
An average Vietnamese aged 15 and over consumes 8.3 liters of pure alcohol per year, while a Singaporean only consumes 2.0 liters, Vnexpress cited a report as saying.
 
The use of alcohol is considered to be a deterrent to human sustainable development. Photo: Medical News Today
The use of alcohol is considered a deterrent to human sustainable development. Photo: Medical News Today
Nguyen Huy Quang, director general of legal affairs under the Ministry of Health said that the current consumption of alcohol in Vietnam is alarming. Vietnam consumes 305 million liters of alcohol and 4.1 billion liters of beer each year. Per capita alcohol consumption tends to increase.

On average in 2016, each Vietnamese consumes an amount of alcohol equivalent to the level of Thai people, higher than that of other countries in the region. Alcohol consumption in Mongolia is 7.4 liters, China 7.2, Cambodia 6.7, the Philippines 6.6 and Singapore 2.0.

Data from the Ministry of Health showed that in the five years from 2010, the number of Vietnamese men drinking alcohol has increased by 15%. An average Vietnamese man consumes 27.4 liters of pure alcohol a year, ranking second in Southeast Asia and 29th in the world. More than 44% of men and 1.2% of women use alcohol at a harmful level.

The use of wine and beer in Vietnam is estimated to cause 79,000 deaths in 2016. Hundreds of thousand people have been hospitalized for alcohol-related diseases.

At a meeting on July 18 between the Ministry of Health and the Consultative Group for Health to discuss the draft law on alcohol harm reduction, the WHO believes that the harmful use of alcoholic beverages is a major factor contributing to the burden of non-communicable diseases treatment. It is also implies risks  for road accidents, violence and injuries.

In 2015, at a United Nations meeting, Vietnam committed to reduce its alcohol abuse use by 10% by 2030. The use of alcohol is considered to be a deterrent to human sustainable development. Therefore, the Vietnamese government needs a strong legal framework to prevent the harm of alcohol.

Over the past three months, the draft law on preventing harms of alcohol has been widely discussed. Many schemes for managing alcohol sales are proposed such as alcohol sale by the hour, the age limit allowed to buy alcoholic beverages, high taxation on alcoholic enterprises, beer advertising ban, etc. 
Anh Kiet
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