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Sober thought

Sober thought:  Centre for Health Protection Community Medicine Consultant Dr Regina Ching holds a press conference on alcohol.

Warning issued on alcohol dangers

May 15, 2014

The Department of Health has called on the public to protect young people from alcohol-related harm.


It made the appeal today citing a World Health Organisation report that found per capita alcohol consumption among the Hong Kong population has steadily grown from 2.6 litres of pure alcohol in 2009 to 2.87 litres in 2012.


It also found that in the 20 to 39 age group, about 25% of total deaths were alcohol-attributable.


Centre for Health Protection Community Medicine Consultant Dr Regina Ching said local alcohol consumption has risen since wine and liquor below an alcoholic strength of 30% were exempted from tax in 2008.


According to the department's Behavioural Risk Factor Survey in 2012, about 6.3% of respondents aged 18 to 64 engaged in binge drinking in the 30 days prior to the survey.


She said it is a cause for concern that binge drinking among young adults aged 18 to 24 increased from 7.4% in 2010 to 9.8% in 2012.


She also noted the WHO's global status report on alcohol and health found the number of deaths worldwide due to alcohol-related harm increased from 2.5 million in 2011 to 3.3 million in 2012.


The report also attributed alcohol as a component cause in more than 200 diseases and injury conditions, and said alcohol consumption causes death and disability relatively early in life.


The department urged parents and guardians to protect their children from alcohol-related harm, and called for adults to act as role models by not drinking and not exposing young people to alcohol.


It also appealed to schools and related organisations to create an alcohol-free environment.


For more information visit the WHO's page on alcohol, view its latest report, or the centre's webpage on alcohol and health.

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