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02.09.2010

Russian health watchdog supports night alcohol sales ban across country

Russia's chief health inspector said on Wednesday he fully supports the ban on night sales of alcohol which comes into force in Moscow on September 1, and hopes similar bans will be applied across the country.

Russia's chief health inspector said on Wednesday he fully supports the ban on night sales of alcohol which comes into force in Moscow on September 1, and hopes similar bans will be applied across the country.

"All regions should work toward this end," said Gennady Onishchenko, head of the State Health Inspectorate.

He said his department, as well as other oversight bodies, will closely monitor this work at a regional level.

In August, the Moscow city authorities shortened the period during which shops may sell hard liquor in line with a Kremlin-led campaign to crack down on alcohol abuse.

As of September 1, Muscovites are not allowed to buy strong alcohol from 10:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Beer, wine and bottled alcoholic "light" cocktails with no more than 15% alcohol content are not affected by the ban.

The Russian government has declared an anti-alcohol campaign and aims to halve consumption by 2020 and root out illegal production and sales.

However, there is no nationwide legislation on the issue in Russia, and in many other regions alcohol is still available 24 hours a day.

Official statistics in Russia show more than 23,000 people die of alcohol poisoning annually. In an effort to fight bootlegging, Russia introduced a minimum price for vodka on January 1.

Alcohol consumption in Russia per capita is currently about 18 liters a year, twice the critical norm set by the World Health Organization.


Source:  www.en.rian.ru

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