Prague, Jan 18 (CTK) – The Czech Republic wants to cut alcohol consumption by 5 percent and tobacco by 8 percent at least within five years via reduced availability and higher prices, according to the planned measures that national drug coordinator Jindrich Voboril presented yesterday.
“We do not know any precise recipes for what to do. We know that not prohibition, but strict regulation and prevention is the way that could resolve everything,” Voboril said.
The measures include a ban on smoking in restaurants, higher prices of tobacco products and alcohol, warnings with deterring measures on cigarette packets, an Internet gambling limitation and the fining of operators of facilities in which drunk children would be found.
“The major goal is to cut the consumption of alcoholic beverages by 3.5 percent of pure spirit per person by 2018 and by 5 percent by 2020,” Deputy Health Minister Lenka Teska Arnostova said.
The Czech Republic is among the biggest alcohol consumers in the world. Some 12.5 percent of people over 15 years drink alcohol daily and almost one quarter of people light a cigarette every day.
Alcohol is regularly drunk by about 20 percent of people and 16 percent of 15-year-old children smoke.
Voboril and Teska Arnostova said “a high rate of toleration” complicates the struggle against alcohol and tobacco.
An “anti-tobacco bill” and a bill regulating gambling have already been sent to the Chamber of Deputies and they contain a number of measures, including a complete ban on smoking in restaurants. Lawmakers are, however, proposing a number of changes.
According to public opinion polls, 78 percent of people want smoking to be completely banned in restaurants, Teska Arnostova said.