Will Russia continue the battle to reduce alcoholism by raising the legal drinking age from 18 to 21? This past Thursday a bill raising the legal drinking age was introduced in the State Duma for consideration by lawmakers.
Earlier in the week First Deputy Prime Minister V. Zubkov had told RIA Novosti news service that Russia has seen a fall in alcohol sales over the past two years from 18 liters to 15 liters per capita a year. Alcohol advertising has been banned and the government has forbidden the sale of alcohol at nighttime and reduced the number of shops allowed to sell alcoholic beverages.
Yevgeny Bryun, the Health Ministry’s chief drug-addiction expert, told the Moscow Times last month that the effort has reduced the amount of alcohol sales by a third over the past two years. Then President Dmitry Medvedev banned the sale of beer at street kiosks last year.
In a report on Russia Today TV, today there are more than 28 million alcoholics in Russia according to the Ministry of Health and Social Development. RT reported that out of the nation’s 10 million children who are between the ages of 11-18, more than 50% use alcohol and beer regularly.
Language trivia: Пиво is the Russian word for beer, pronounced as “PEE-vah.”