Thais spend less on booze
- Published: 14/02/2013 at 06:05 PM
- Online news:
Tougher enforcement of the 2008 Alcohol Beverage Control Act from 2007 to 2011 has resulted in a decrease in consumer expenditure on alcohol of 18 billion baht, an academic forum was told.
The continuous implementation of various anti-alcohol campaigns and the enforcement of the law to reduce access to alcohol resulted in a decrease in public spending on booze from 155 billion baht in 2007 to 137 billion baht in 2011. This meant people reduced their purchases of alcohol, totaling almost 18 billion baht during the five-year span, Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth) manager Krisada Ruangareerat revealed on Thursday.
Harmful levels of drinking also tended to be lower, from 9.1% between 2003 and 2004 to 7.3% between 2008 and 2009, he said.
Dr Krisada was speaking at the 7th National Academic Conference on Alcohol at Centra Hotel & Convention Centre in Bangkok. About 600 local and foreign anti-alcohol advocates, public health personnel and academics attended this year’s forum entitled “Ownership in Alcohol Policy”, which began on Thursday and will end tomorrow.
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An anti-alcoholic drinking network of 77 provinces act as dead victims from alcoholic drinking as part of their anti-alcoholic drinking campaign at the Government House last year, urging the drink driving law to include all kinds of vehicles (Photo by Chanat Katanyu).
Dr Udomsilp Srisangnam, adviser to ThaiHealth, said the Alcohol Beverage Control Act introduced in 2008 had created a top-down approach to implement alcohol control policies to mitigate alcohol-drinking related problems from provincial to community levels via health committees and partners. As a result, residents in each community could directly take part in solving the problem based on their available resources as well as making a healthier and stronger neighbourhood.
Dr Phusit Prakongsai, director of the International Health Policy Programme Office, said handling alcohol-related problems required cooperation from all sectors, both state agencies and civic groups, and it was important to create a sense of ownership and understanding over alcohol policy among the public. To encourage more participation from stakeholders at provincial and community levels was also needed as they could be a major force in the fight against alcohol in the future, he added.
At the forum, three people were rewarded for their outstanding role in taking part in enforcing the 2008 Alcohol Beverage Control Act. They were Nakhon Si Thammarat governor Wiroj Jiwarungsan (representing the bureaucratic sector), Chiang Mai municipality Mayor Tassanai Buranupakorn (local administrative body sector) and Somkuan Ngoopimai, member of Tambon Pimai Community Organisation Council in Nakhon Ratchasima (civic group sector).
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Writer: Chontida Purahong