Lithuanian parliament endorses strong alcohol legislation

The Lithuanian parliament, the Seimas, has voted in legislation aimed at reducing the average annual alcohol consumption of Lithuanians. This initiative is based on the cost-effective measures endorsed by ministers of health from all over the world at the 70th session of the World Health Assembly in Geneva last week. The “best buys” steps include measures regarding alcohol price, availability and marketing.

From 1 January 2018, the amended legislation will ban advertising of alcohol; increase the age limit for purchase of alcohol to 20 years; and limit the hours of sale for alcohol to 10:00– 20:00 on Monday to Saturday, and 10:00–15:00 on Sunday. The amended law will now go for approval of the President, who has the right of veto.

“This is another win for public health. The endorsement by the Seimas of these measures is a show of the government’s commitment to improve the health of Lithuanians and save lives,” said Ms Ingrida Zurlyte, Head of the WHO Country Office in Lithuania, when the legislation passed through the parliament on 1 June.