Thursday, July 28, 2011

Russia Classifies Beer as an Alcoholic Beverage, Not Food

Moscow, Russia


With beer being marketed in Russia as a healthy alternative to vodka, sales are up more than 40 percent in the last decade. Now President Dmitri Medvedev has signed a bill to define beer as alcohol, not food and has introduced time and place restrictions on it's sale.

Some changes include making it illegal to sell beer between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m. And rather than being sold in kiosks that clutter the streets in Russian towns and crowd railway stations and transportation hubs, i
t will only be allowed to be sold in stores.

Advertising for alcohol will also be banned under the new legislation.

The changes are part of a plan outlined by President Medvedev in August 2009 to combat the "alcoholization" of the Russian people. In January 2010, Moscow increased the tax on beer by 200 percent.

Russians drank an average of 12.5 liters of alcohol last year; vodka accounts for about 40 percent of individual consumption, while beer accounts for about 32 percent.

According to a 2009 study published in the British medical journal "The Lancet," alcohol abuse accounts for 600,000 deaths in Russia each year and a total of half of all deaths among males between 15 and 54.

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