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Workshop to implement the law for prevention and control of alcohol related harms

Update: October, 16/2019 - 17:09
Minister of Health Nguyễn Thị Kim Tiến speaks at the workshop to implement the law for prevention and control of alcohol related harms in Hà Nội on Wednesday. — VNS Photo Thanh Hải

HÀ NỘI — The law for prevention and control of alcohol related harm will help prevent and minimise the negative consequences of alcohol use and promote healthy lifestyles in Việt Nam, participants heard at a workshop on Wednesday in Hà Nội.

World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative in Việt Nam Dr. Kidong Park said that the new law was a landmark milestone for the control of a major non-communcable diseases (NCD) risk factor in Việt Nam.

“To effectively prevent alcohol-related harms, this law must be strictly implemented with support from all levels of the Government as well as the public,” said Park.

Park suggested that Việt Nam should allocate adequate funds and human resources for implementation of the law; raising public awareness, involve NGOs and partners in the implementation and monitoring of the law to ensure transparency and effectiveness and promoting community initiatives for the prevention of harmful use of alcohol.

The law was passed by the National Assembly on June 14, 2019 and will take effect from the beginning 2020. The law seeks to implement strong actions to protect people, particularly the youth, from the influence of alcohol.

From January 1, 2020, the following acts will be banned:

  • Inciting, encouragement and forcing others to drink beer/alcohol
  • Sale of beer/alcohol to people under 18
  • Use of beer/alcohol as promotion products for people under 18
  • Public officials, students, members of the armed forces prevented from drinking beer/alcohol before and during working hours
  • Advertising of beer/alcohol from 6pm-9pm on radio and TV
  • Operating motorised means of transport having blood alcohol concentration.

The law also guarantees funding to highlight the importance of a multi-sectorial approach to the prevention and control of alcohol-related problems. It establishes the roles and responsibilities of relevant agencies in its implementation.

“This is the first time Việt Nam has a complete and comprehensive law on alcohol and beer prevention and control. It is also a very complicated one as it related to habits and behaviours of people,” said Minister of Health Nguyễn Thị Kim Tiến.

“To bring this law into everyday life and ensure its feasibility and effectiveness, activities to disseminate and implement the law are very important to us,” said Tiến.

Tiến added the event also was an opportunity for ministries, branches and localities to exchange information and discuss ways to effectively implement the new law.

Việt Nam belongs to the group of countries with the highest percentage of men drinking alcohol in the world and the rate is increasing. In 2010, 70 per cent of men and 6 per cent of women over 15 had consumed alcohol in the past 30 days. By 2015, this proportion had increased to 80.3 per cent for men and 11.6 per cent for women. In particular, the situation of alcohol use among teenagers is becoming more and more serious with the rate of alcohol consumption among teenagers and young people has increased by nearly 10 per cent after five years. — VNS

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