Activists and academics have called for stricter enforcement of a ban on the sale of alcohol near educational institutions, saying the measure has failed to reduce drinking among youths.
"The crackdown on alcohol sales is slowing down. The government needs to be clear where alcohol cannot be sold," Teerapat Kahawong, coordinator of the Youth Network Against New Drinkers, said at a seminar in Bangkok Wednesday.
The number of drinkers had actually increased since the ban on alcohol sales within a 300-metre radius of educational institutions came into effect last July, the activist said.
Nittha Runkasem, from Phranakhon Rajabhat University, said she was concerned about new marketing tricks being used by beer companies such as encouraging non-celebrities to post pictures of themselves with bottles of beer on social media.
"The messages are now written in an informal way to make the public feel more comfortable in trying their products," said Ms Nittha, calling on beer companies to adhere to the Alcohol Control Act.
According to a recent survey by Huachiew Chalermprakiet University, 94.2% of students -- from four universities comprising King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi and Rangsit University -- who frequent bars near their universities admit to drinking regularly.
The survey also found most of the bars were operating illegally and academics questioned why police have never taken action against them.