Russia cracks down on alcoholism

18 September, 2009

Russia: President Medvedev plans to tighten the rules around alcohol sales and production in a bid to reduce alcohol abuse.

A statement on the President’s website said he has approved a list of instructions that were formulated on August 12, 2009, in Sochi.

The statement reads: “The Government of the Russian Federation was instructed to draft in collaboration with public and religious associations, the concept of government policies purported to lower alcohol abuse and apply preventive measures restricting alcoholism in Russia. Youth and minors should be primarily targeted by the said policies.”

The Government was also instructed to attempt to prevent the supply of counterfeit spirits and create quality specification for all types of alcoholic drinks, including beer.

The statement continues: “It was furthermore requested to draft new laws and amendments to the legislation currently in force, to regulate spirits, wines and beers production and sales, and to offer measures limiting alcohol advertising.

“The President instructed the Cabinet to examine international practices in order to assess the possibility and consequences of government monopoly for ethanol and alcohol production and sale.”

According to The Moscow Times, measures include limiting can sizes of low-alcohol beverages and to placing larger health warnings on all types of alcohol. There is also a possibility that alcohol sales will become state controlled.

A study published by general medical journal The Lancet, in June reported that alcohol addiction accounts for more than half of all deaths among 15 to 54 year old Russians. The study said that three quarters of deaths among men and half of deaths among women aged 15-54 were caused by alcohol abuse.



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