MOSCOW, September 24. /TASS/. Russia’s consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said on Thursday it supports the legislative initiative to raise the drinking age in Russia to 21.
"The task of prevention of alcohol addiction is coming to the fore in Russia, where about 500,000 alcohol-related deaths are reported a year. Some experts put the number of alcohol addicts in Russia at about five million, or 3.5% of the entire population," Rospotrebnadzor said.
According to the watchdog, beer and low-alcohol beverages are popular among teenagers and women of the childbearing age. As many as 33% of teenage boys and 20% of teenage girls drink alcoholic beverages, including beer, every day or every other day.
The bill raising drinking age from 18 to 21 was submitted to the Russian State Duma lower parliament house by Anton Belyakov, a member of the economic policy committee of the upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, on September 22.
Elena Mizulina, the chairwoman of the State Duma committee for the affairs of the family, women and children, suggested this issue be put for nationwide discussion.