Alcohol consumption report released
- Published: 26/03/2013 at 06:57 PM
- Online news:
A new study claims that the average Thai aged 15 and older consumes 7.1 litres of pure alcohol per year.
The study by the Centre for Alcohol Studies says the number of retail shops selling alcohol has increased by 120,000 in the past 10 years.
Taksapol Thammarangsi, the director of the Centre, said on Tuesday the alcohol consumption is equivalent to drinking 18 litres of whisky, 61 large bottles of beer and washing it down with one bottle of wine.
Recorded alcohol consumption in Thailand has been stable at seven-to-eight litres of pure alcohol per capita since 2001. The amount is measured by tax records, with makers of alcoholic beverages taxed on the amount of alcohol they use during manufacture.
Worldwide, per capita consumption of alcoholic beverages in 2005 equaled 6.13 litres of pure alcohol consumed by every person aged 15 years or older, according to the global status report on alcohol and health released in 2011 by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Statistics showed more than 600,000 licensed retail stores were operating across the country, an increase from about 480,000 stores since 2003. Drinkers have easier access to alcohol products, Dr Taksapol said at a press conference, adding that most consumers bought alcohol beverages at local grocery stores.
A survey on smoking and alcohol consumption conducted in 2011 by National Statistical Office concluded that the number of regular drinkers who had successfully quit drinking increased from two million in 2001 to 4.6 million. The drop was attributed in part to anti-booze campaigns staged by public and private sectors.
An average increase in the number of female and teenage drinkers was 1% each year.
On social effects, about three-fourths of 7,000 survey respondents last year said they witnessed a violent argument resulted from drinking last year and about one-third experienced domestic violence.
"The increased rate is partially a result of aggressive marketing promotion by the alcohol industry, which has shifted from mainstream media to online media and points of sale,” Dr Taksapol said.
"Although the number of road accidents related to alcohol consumption has gone down, the severity of the accidents has increased.”
He said alcohol was one of the three prime factors behind traffic-related deaths with 70% of drivers in accidents found to have consumed more than the legal alcohol limit. It became the top factor in road accidents during major holiday seasons including Sonkran.
According to the National Statistical Office's 2011 report on alcohol consumption by province, the lowest drinking rates were in southern and central regions, especially in the three southern border provinces, while the highest rates were in the North and Northeast.
The report also said teenagers in the North and Northeast were the heaviest drinkers in their age group.
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