Ministry of Health proposes ban on beer advertisement

Update: May, 26/2018 - 18:00
A person is under treatment for liquor poisoning in the Bạch Mai Hospital in Hà Nội. — Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Advertising beer could soon be a thing of the past after the Ministry of Health proposed calling time on commercials.

The plans were revealed yesterday at a conference held to come up with ideas to complete the draft law in an attempt to curb alcohol problems.

Trần Thị Trang, deputy director of the Department of Legal Affairs under the MOH, said the draft law proposed a ban on beer and liquor promotion to customers, using beer and liquor as prizes in competitions, advertising beer on social networks and supplying beer and liquor free of charge.

Trang said the demand for beer and liquor increased quickly, especially beer. On average, each Vietnamese person consumes 6.6 litres of pure alcohol per year whereas the number was 3.8 litres five years ago.

It is forecast that by 2025, each Vietnamese person will drink seven litres of pure alcohol per year.

In the world it’s around 6.1 litres and has been stable in the past 15 years.

The number of over-15-year-old male and female people using beer and liquor increase from 70 per cent and six per cent in 2010 to 80 per cent and nearly 12 per cent in 2015, respectively.

Young people drinking beer and alcohol also increased, by nearly 10 per cent after five years.

Thus Trang said that a management on beer advertisement was needed.

“Việt Nam is considered an attractive market for beer and liquor firms, only after Mexico. The country does not have any regulations on beer limit for adolescents, thus any adolescents can access to beer advertisement,” she said.

Studies of the MOH showed that a person drinking no more than 330ml of beer per day can be hit by seven kinds of cancer such as breast, liver, stomach and large intestine.

The cost of treatment for six common kinds of cancer in Việt Nam was more than VNĐ25 trillion (US$1.1 billion) in 2012, making up 0.22 per cent of the total gross domestic product (GDP).

About 15 per cent of beds in mental hospitals are for patients suffering mental diseases because of beer and liquor.

Economic losses caused by traffic accidents related to beer and liquor were nearly US$1 billion in 2010.

The draft law shows three options for restricting times people are allowed to buy alcohol.

The first option is that beer and liquor can be sold from 11am to 2pm, and from 5pm to 10pm daily, except at international airports and streets specialising in food, drink and tourism.

The second option is that beer and liquor can be sold from 6am to 10pm daily.

And the last option is that the limit time will be conducted based on the Government’s plans. VNS