Majority of residents support tougher restrictions on alcohol ads and sale, new poll reveals.
Juhan Kivirähk, head of research company Turu-uuringute AS that conducted the poll, said the results show widespread approval of the amendments to the state's alcohol policy recently proposed by the minister of health and labor.
“At the same time, it is noteworthy that the current media picture is the opposite: those whose business interest are affected by the planned restrictions are making most noise,” Kivirähk said.
According to the health and labor minister, Jevgeni Ossinovski, the poll confirms that the society as a whole sees the over-consumption of alcohol, the excessive exposure it enjoys and its easy availability as serious problems.
The poll, commissioned by the Ministry of Social Affairs, asked respondents to rate the ministry's proposals regarding restrictions to advertizing and sale of alcoholic drinks.
Respondents lent their greatest support to a proposal that would see alcohol ads banned from TV and radio from 07:00-22:00 o'clock – 84 percent either agreed or strongly agreed with the idea.
The vast majority also said alcoholic drinks should be clearly separated from other products in the stores (80 percent), and that alcohol ads should only convey neutral information, essentially putting a ban on lifestyle ads (75 percent). Slightly less people agreed that gas stations should not be allowed to sell alcohol (62 percent), and that alcohol departments should be separated from other parts of the shops with non-transparent walls, or where this is not possible, alcohol should only be sold over the counter (58 percent).
In addition, over 80 percent of the respondents thought alcohol to be too easily accessible to minors, and one third were worried for themselves or a loved one who drinks too much.
The sample of 1,000 people were polled from November 3-17.
Editor: M. Oll