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United Russia calls for banning sale of alcohol to parents with children at restaurants

June 07, 2012, 18:10 UTC+3

Aside from increasing fines for sale of alcohol to children, it is necessary to introduce fines for sale of cigarettes

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MOSCOW, June 7 (Itar-Tass) — Lawmakers from the ruling United Russia Party called for banning the sale of alcohol in restaurants and cafes to adults with children. "I suggest banning the sale of alcohol with underage children at public catering places," said Sergei Zheleznyak, head of the State Duma's subcommittee for information policy, IT technologies and communications at the Open Platform session on Thursday. Zheleznyak recently was nominated to the post of deputy house speaker.

He reminded that the Party had submitted a bill in May which bans beer advertisement on the Internet. The parliamentarian proposed a more substantial approach to the issue. "By the 2nd reading, the bans will be tougher: we'll introduce the amendments banning beer advertisement not only in electronic mass media, but also on all Internet resources," Zheleznyak said.

For his part, head of the State Duma faction of United Russia Andrei Vorobyov reminded about an earlier initiative to hike fines for sale of alcohol to children from 3,000 to 5,000 roubles to 30,000 to 50,000 roubles.

"Yet fines alone will not resolve the problem; we should work out an algorithm of control. Such measures might include CCTV cameras, for example," Vorobyov said.

First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma committee for science and high technologies Nikolai Gerasimenko supported the proposal. In his opinion, it is necessary to install cameras at the places where alcohol is sold.

Aside from increasing fines for sale of alcohol to children, it is necessary to introduce fines for sale of cigarettes.

"Abuse of alcohol and smoking among adolescents are two problems which always go together," he said. According to Gerasimenko, these problems require a complex solution.

Some 45,000 adults have been disciplined in Russia for selling alcohol to underage children this year, head of the Interior Ministry's department for the protection of public order Yuri Demidov told the participants in the Open Platform session.

"Last year, the figure was 80,000 of irresponsible parents. The facts of adolescents' being in public places in a state of alcoholic intoxication have been recorded," Demidov said.

According to the Interior Ministry, the rate of juvenile crimes committed in a state of alcoholic or narcotic intoxication increases by 15 percent each year.

In 2012, the police exposed 5,500 trade outlets selling alcohol to minors.

The Interior Ministry official also pointed out at the existing problems of hidden advertisement of alcohol. Head of the Rospotrebnadzor Federal Service for Supervision of Consumers Protection and Welfare Gennady Onishchenko noted that television was carrying out hidden advertisement of alcohol and that it was a considerable problem.

Onishchenko called for hiking fines for sale of alcohol to children and raising the prices of alcoholic beverages.

"Young persons should be weaned out of alcohol not only by prohibitive measures but also through the development of sports and increasing its affordability," the Rospotrebnadzor chief said.

United Russia lawmaker Viktor Zvagelsky supports the view that tougher prohibitive measures are essential in resolving the problem of the abuse of alcohol by children.

It is necessary to eliminate all the loopholes which adolescents can use to buy alcohol. At present, fines for sale of alcohol to children are insignificant - up to 5,000 roubles; we wish to introduce new fines. A natural person should pay a fine up to 50,000 roubles and in that event, penalties will be effective," Zvagelsky said.

Head of the United Russia faction at the State Duma Andrei Vorobyov said all the political forces should consolidate to resolve the problems of children's dipsomania which requires a complex approach. "I don't know what kind of control it should be: whether CCTV cameras should be installed near retail outlets, or they should hire responsible sellers: this must be discussed," Vorobyov said.



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