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From January 2020, New Alcohol Law Will Make Coercing Others to Drink Illegal

Be gone, peer-pressured drinking.

The new draft Law on Preventing Alcohol's Harmful Effects is going into effect on January 1, 2020. Under the new law, forcing, encouraging or enticing others to drink alcoholic beverages will be illegal, Tuoi Tre reports. Behavior such as letting people under 18 years of age consume alcohol and selling alcohol to this age group will also be banned.

When it was announced that the draft decree was going to be submitted to the National Assembly for approval, certain content in the proposal stirred heated debate from different parties.

Regulations on advertising and selling alcoholic beverages received the most push-back from the private sector. Thus, the finalized version of the new law has already been “loosened up” as a compromise. The early proposal of banning the sale of drinks with an alcohol content above 15% from 10pm to 8am was omitted, as was a ban on the online sale of beer and other alcoholic drinks.

Some National Assembly members, such as Pham Thi Minh Hien from Phu Yen Province, still think that the new law isn’t strict enough to create a barrier between young people and alcohol. Hien cited research which found that 87.6% of children involved in a study had consumed an alcoholic beverage without knowing it was alcoholic. Eighty percent of these children said that they would continue to consume these drinks because they were advertised as fermented fruit drinks and sparkling juices.

Hien said that the law focuses too much on products with high alcoholic content, while the market is dominated by beverages with an ABV of 4.2% to 5%. Under the new law, it is still legal for these products to be advertised without regulations.