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Public Health Ministry plans to remove alcoholic beverage

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  1. 1. Is it a good idea? (read before vote!!! ;-)


Public Health Ministry plans to remove alcoholic beverage from retail display shelves

BANGKOK: -- Buoyed by its success in removing cigarettes from sight in shop windows and shelves, the Ministry of Public Health has set itself a new mission to do the same for alcoholic beverages.

Dr. Narong Sahamethapat, deputy director-general of the ministry's Disease Control Department announced that the department, following the successful campaign on cigarette visibility, will now focus on completing the drafting--and then enforcing--laws to clear alcoholic drinks off retail shelves.

A draft law to control the consumption of alcoholic drinks has just been completed, Dr. Narong explained, and the process of public hearings for inputs into the draft is expected to be complete by the end of next year.

According to Dr. Narong, the main thrust of the bill is to ban advertisements for alcoholic drinks on television and radio, and to extend the hours during which alcohol ads cannot be broadcast from the current blackout period of 5am to 10pm. A set of related legal measures will be enforced under the law to restrict children's access to alcoholic drinks, banning sales near schools, temples and petrol stations.

Once in force, the law will also ban trading of alcoholic drinks during public holidays and Sundays.

Dr. Narong said that imposing controls on alcohol sales, advertising and consumption constitutes a more formidable task than banning cigarette sales in retail outlets.

Among the factors at play includes the fact that there are many players in this financially lucrative sector, the majority of whom are Thai.

More importantly, the public health official said, about 20 million Thais consume alcoholic beverages on a regular basis, compared to 10 million smokers.

This task therefore requires massive commitment from all sections of the society, he said.

--TNA 2005-11-22

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