Counting the cost of alcohol issues

Created 09 November 2018
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The Government of Viet Nam spends about VND65 trillion dealing with the consequences of alcohol each year, while alcoholic beverage firms contribute roughly VND50 trillion to the country’s economy,
Alcohol harm prevention, narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol, Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam
Alcohol harm prevention, narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol, Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam

In 2016, the average Vietnamese person over 15 years old drank 8.3 litres of pure alcohol, a statistic which reveals alarming levels of alcohol consumption in the country. — Photo anninhthudo.vn


Nguyen Huy Quang, head of the Legal Affairs Department under the Health Ministry, said at a conference yesterday that the consumption of alcoholic drinks in Vietnam had reached alarming levels. In 2016, on average, a Vietnamese person over 15 years old drank 8.3 litres of pure alcohol.

As much as 42.2 per cent of male drinkers and 1.2 per cent of female drinkers partake in heavy episodic drinking. In other words, they have consumed at least 60 grammes of pure alcohol on at least one occasion in the past 30 days.

Quang said alcoholic drinks not only had negative impacts on the economy, but also on road safety and human health.

In Vietnam, drink driving is one of three major causes of traffic accidents. Alcoholic drinks cause countless accidents and illnesses.

“High consumption of alcoholic drinks poses a big barrier for Việt Nam to realise its sustainable development goals by 2030,” Quang said.

In 2015, Vietnam and other 153 countries across the world adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Vietnam committed that by 2030 it would reduce its under-70 mortality rate due to non-communicable diseases by 20 to 25 per cent through prevention, treatment and promotion of mental health and wellbeing.

It also committed to strengthening the prevention and treatment of substance abuse including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol.

Quang clarified that Vietnam committed to reduce the ratio of people participating in heavy episodic drinking by 10 per cent by 2030.

“The Law on Alcohol Harm Prevention is needed and will be a strong tool that helps Việt Nam implement these goals,” Quang said.

 Today, the bill was included in National Assembly’s agenda.

Presenting at the conference yesterday were local and international organisations such as UNICEF, the World Health Organisation (WHO), HeathBridge Canada and the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance – a network of non-governmental organisations and people working in public health agencies that share information on alcohol issues and advocate for evidence-based alcohol policies free from commercial interests.

The organisations called on the Government of Viet Nam to implement WHO recommendations for alcohol harm prevention and control.

They expected Vietnam to ensure scientific objectivity and benefits for people’s health and national sustainable development when developing alcohol laws.

According to the Health Ministry, in the last three years, it received contributions from six organisations to the bill on alcohol harm prevention.


Source: Source: VNS - Bridge

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