Republic of Moldova adopts National Programme on Alcohol Control

The Government of the Republic of Moldova has approved the National Programme on Alcohol Control for the years 2012–2020. The National Programme was developed in line with the European action plan to reduce the harmful use of alcohol 2012–2020.

The National Programme covers a large number of actions to reduce harmful use of alcohol, including: 

  • an increase in taxation of alcohol products by another 10% (including "alcopops" and related beverages);
  • a restriction of opening hours for the sale of alcohol products;
  • development and implementation of information-based public education campaigns;
  • a comprehensive ban on advertising; 
  • introduction of counselling for at-risk drinkers in primary care; 
  • a raise in the minimum purchase age to 18 years for all alcohol beverages including beer; 
  • a reduction in the legal blood alcohol content to 0.2 g/l and strengthened enforcement through breath-testing, education and more severe penalties for drink–driving.

The process to develop, coordinate and approve the National Programme on Alcohol Control took one year. The Ministry of Health took leadership of this initiative and involved both government and non-government structures in programme development.

The next steps include enforcement of the newly adopted programme as well as development and implementation of the National Alcohol Communication Strategy.

Background

A large proportion of the adult population of the Republic of Moldova consumes alcohol. The Moldova Demographic and Health Survey carried out in 2005 showed that 59% of women and 81% of men had consumed at least one alcoholic drink in the month preceding the study. According to the Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health from February 2011, the adult population (aged over 15 years) consumes the highest quantity of pure alcohol per capita globally, amounting to 18.22 litres per capita. Mortality from liver cirrhosis is also among the highest in the world.

Activities undertaken in the field of alcohol control result from the joint work of the Ministry of Health and WHO offices at the regional and country level, as part of the EU-funded technical assistance programme under WHO coordination.