Medical Association Says No to Legal Public Consumption of Alcohol ({{commentsTotal}})

Some Estonians are pledging to go alcohol free in September as part of an online campaign. Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The Medical Association has also joined calls for public consumption of alcohol to be illegal again, as it was prior to July 1 this year.

The association wrote an open letter to the Cabinet and Parliament to amend the Law Enforcement Act.

It said in the statement that as Estonia had one of the highest per capita consumption rates in Europe and had to shoulder a major public health burden from acute and chronic ailments that coul be traced to alcohol.

It said public drinking sent a message to children that drinking was the status quo and could be done everywhere. It said the question of the nuisance posed by intoxicated people - set by drafters as a key criterion - was a secondary concern.

The association also cited the European alcohol charter which gives all children and young adults the right to grow up in an alcohol-free environment.

"Every decision that promotes consumption of alcohol is harmful to Estonia. We call on statemsn to rectify the mistakes and establish a law that does not allow public consumption of alcohol," the letter read.

Several cities and towns, most prominently Tallinn, have issued local ordinances banning public drinking, and social welfare groups have also spoken out against it.

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