New Delhi: Contending that use of alcohol constitutes one of the major causes for chronic diseases, health minister Anbumani Ramadoss today pressed for a National Alcohol Policy to curb consumption of liquor.
Replying to questions in the Lok Sabha, he said more youngsters are taking to alcohol as is reflected by a survey which showed that the average age of liquor consumption has come down to 13.5 years from 28 years a few years ago.
“The four major risk factors which are directly or indirectly associated with the causation of chronic non-communicable diseases are -- tobacco use, alcohol use, physical inactivity and unhealthy diet,” Ramadoss said.
He said chronic diseases account for 55% of deaths in the country and in the next 40-50 years, Indians are expected to suffer more problems like cardiac ailments and diabetes.
“We need National Alcohol Policy,” Ramadoss said while talking about the need to curb consumption of liquor.
He sought the support of MPs in this endeavour.
As he pressed the need for curbing liquor consumption, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said “you are extending your jurisdiction... see how many tobacco and alcohol manufacturers are there in your constituency.”
Ramadoss’ anti-smoking campaign had faced stiff resistance from the tobacco lobby.