Govt to bring National Alcohol Policy to bring down its use

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New Delhi, Nov 13 (UNI) Concerned over the decreasing age of alcohol use initiation, the government is planning to bring a National Alcohol Policy to highlight its adverse impact on health.

Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said here that policy would not be mandatory but recommendatory. It would be for the states to implement and its basic aim would be to create awareness among people against the use of alcohol for a healthy life.

Highlighting the need for a national policy on liquor, the minister said the number of people drinking alcohol was 60 million to 70 million in the country and 50 per cent of them were hazardous drinkers who needed treatment.

Pointing out that 40 per cent road accidents in Delhi involved people who had used alcohol, Dr Ramadoss said studies have revealed that the average age of alcohols use initiation has come from 19 years to 13.5 years, which was a matter of serious concern.

Expressing displeasure over the use of surrogate advertisements of liquor both in print and electronic media, Health Minister said it has asked the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to take steps to check such advertisements. Citing the recent advertisement of a foreign movie in a leading daily featuring a wine bottle, the Health Minister said advertisement of alcohol was banned under the law, it should be effectively implemented and media must also behave responsibly.

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