Alcohol reforms progress in Russia - 19 Sep 2010  
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With a 2020 goal of 50% reduction in the nation’s alcohol consumption, President Dmitry Medvedev and the Russian government have implemented a number of recent reforms.

Following an August ban in Moscow of strong alcohol sales during certain hours, officials in southern Russia’s Volgograd region are now implementing a ban on the sale of vodka.

As alcohol abuse is linked to reduced life expectancy and causes some 500,000 fatalities annually nationwide, authorities say the ban will help maintain public health, especially as people strive to overcome challenges such as the devastating recent forest fires. Russian legislators have also proposed the conversion of certain alcohol distilleries into drinking water plants.

Russian President Medvedev: The first thing we must do is to stop alcohol consumption growth among the young people. It’s an absolute must. As is common knowledge, the habit of drinking with and without reason is likely to lead to grave alcoholic addiction conditions within a sufficiently short timeframe. The operation of retail networks and vending outlets must be put in order.

President Medvedev and Russia, we respectfully commend your initiatives toward this healthy trend. May all the citizens of Russia be graced with vibrant and flourishing addiction-free lives.

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