STA, 1 June 2020 - The association of chronic non-contagious diseases urged on Monday the Health Ministry, the government and National Assembly to introduce stricter measures concerning alcohol policy and to strive for a joint systemic tackling of heavy alcohol consumption in Slovenia, most notably efforts mitigating the situation among the young.
The organisation, bringing together a number of public health NGOs, has highlighted that youths are the primary target market of the alcohol industry.
Today's appeal to the authorities coincided with the release of the Slovenian translation of Olivier van Beemen's book titled Heineken in Africa.
The Dutch investigative journalist reveals unethical strategies and practices of the alcohol industry in Africa in the book, reads the association's press release.
Such practices are not only a problem of the third world, but are also very much present in Slovenia, highlighted the NGOs.
Slovenia ranks among countries with the highest alcohol consumption rate per adult on average. The World Health Organisation has notified Slovenia on a number of occasions that the country is lagging behind most advanced countries in this area and that it is high time Slovenia stepped up its alcohol policy.
The association believes that Slovenia should raise alcohol prices and ban relevant marketing, including online advertising. Moreover, event sponsorship by the alcohol business should be banned and the sales restriction for underage or inebriated persons should be strictly implemented.
Online sales and home deliveries should be banned as well, in particular during times of epidemics or similar extreme circumstances, and zero-tolerance policy should be imposed regarding drinking and driving.
The association deems that the damage done by alcohol in society overrides any potential financial benefits of selling alcoholic beverages.
An inefficient alcohol policy increases the burden on healthcare, the police, judiciary, social work organisations and local communities, and deteriorates people's health and well-being, reads the press release.