NEWS

Ban on underage drinking?

In a bid to crack down on what it regards as a major public health threat, the government is considering banning the sale of alcohol to minors and adopting 18 as the legal age of entry to bars, a top Health Ministry official said yesterday. Deputy Health Minister Elpida Tsouri told Kathimerini that the ministry has yet to make a final decision on the proposal, which was submitted in December by the Committee Against Alcoholism, formed by the ministry last April. Other ideas included a ban on televised alcohol advertising in the morning or during programs on sports or music that could be watched by minors, as well as outlawing advertisements of alcohol from cinemas. Furthermore, the committee advised forbidding the sale by all shops – including kiosks – bars, coffee shops and refreshment stands of alcoholic beverages, and making it illegal for anyone aged under 18 to enter bars. The committee also proposed scrapping the minimum legal blood alcohol level in drunk-driving tests, and creating support groups and medical rehabilitation units for alcoholics.