OREANDA-NEWS. Russian Ministry of Health proposed banning the sale of strong drinks of more than 16.5% alcohol by volume to the youth under 21 years of age. The law will come into force in January 2020.

The Ministry of Health of Russia has developed a bill to increase the legal drinking age up to 21. The sale of liquors with alcohol content of more than 16.5% will be banned to Russians under 21 years of age, and after 21 years of age young people will be entitled to buy strong alcohol. Today, alcohol can be bought by youth after 18 years of age.

There have been already several dozen proposals similar to the Ministry of Health’s bill for the ten-year anti-alcohol campaign in Russia, said Vadim Drobiz, head of the Center for Research of the Federal and Regional Alcohol Market.

“Whoever wanted to be famous, they developed a bill”, Drobiz said. “Neither the Federation Council, nor the State Duma, nor the government have ever given a positive response to such a bill, because common sense prevails. If the prohibition law does not work from the age of 18, then why should it work up to 21 years?”

“There is no positive experience in the world”, the top manager added. “There is Germany, where beer and wine are officially sold to youth from the age of 16, and strong alcohol from 18. There is the USA, where sales are official to young people from 21 years of age. <…> But they do not take any insane decisions. The Ministry of Health decided to somewhat change the position, that is, to ban hard liquor until the age of 21, but to allow beer and wine. <…> If today young people practically do not take hard liquor under the age of 21, then here we will get an explosive interest in it at the age of 18 to 21. You just need to know their psychology.”

According to the expert of the alcohol market, young people in Russia and in the West begin to try alcohol at 13-14 years old. Upon reaching 21 years of age, preferences of men and women are divided. 90% of consumed wine is drunk by women, men in their youth prefer beer, and after 30 they switch to hard liquor.