Thai adults drinking less, but more teenagers gulp more booze

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BANGKOK, March 27 – Nearly three million Thai people quit drinking alcohol in the last decade, but the number of alcoholic beverage shops has increased by 120,000 outlets, according to an independent survey.

The Centre for Alcohol Studies (CAS) reported that successive counter-alcohol campaigns have mainly contributed to a decline in drinkers. A total of 2.6 million people have ceased drinking alcohol in the past 10 years.

With mushrooming alcohol shops, alcoholic drinks are easily accessible to people.

The CAS said people aged above 15 drink alcohol on an average of 7.1 litres per person every year, or equivalent to 61 bottles of beer, one bottle of wine and 18 big bottles of distilled whiskey in combination.

The number of young female drinkers is increasing at one per cent per year while male adults drink less.

People in low-income household groups buy more alcoholic drinks than those in higher-income household group due to  heavy marketing campaigns, especially due to online advertisements and activities on corporate social responsibility by beverage companies.

The heaviest drinkers are teenagers in Thailand’s North and Northeast, while the drinking rate in three southernmost provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala is the lowest in the country. Muslims are forbidden to drink alcohol by their religion.