BANGKOK – A government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said on Sunday.Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is concerned about the drinking habits of the Thai people, especially among young people aged 15-19
Lt Gen Sansern said Gen Prayut’s concern was based on a World Health Organisation (WHO) report that said Thailand was ranked fifth in the world in terms of alcohol consumption and the average number of drinkers in the 15-19 agegroup was rising 4.96% per year.
The report said Thai people could reach a shop selling alcoholic drinks with an average walk of 4.5 minutes, indicating it was very easy for them to get a bottle of liquor, said the spokesman.
“Alcohol is the main cause of road accidents, especially during festivals and long holidays,” he said. “Alcohol also leads to other social problems such as family violence, brawls and crimes.”
Lt Gen Sansern said the government is seriously implementing the 10-year national strategy on alcohol (2011-2020), and the alcohol control law has been enforced strictly. For instance, alcohol sales and consumption are prohibited at more places, including bus terminals, boat piers, train stations and around education institutes, he said. Sales of alcoholic drinks are prohibited on religious days.
The purpose is to cut back consumption of alcohol, slow down the increase in the number of new drinkers and reduce violence, he said.
“On the occasion of the beginning of the Buddhist Lent, the prime minister wants the Thai people to refrain from drinking alcohol during the three-month period. A previous campaign showed that 81.2% of those who refrained from taking alcohol could reduce household spending, 80.5% enjoyed better physical health, 50.2% had better mental health, and 31.1% were able to reduce family problems and have a happy family life,” Lt Gen Sansern said.
“The prime minister would like to thank everyone for their cooperation.”