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Denmark: Voters ready for 18-year-old limit for buying alcohol


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24.10.2022 - Young people under 18 should not be able to buy alcohol. This is the opinion of almost two out of three voters, according to a new poll. The Danish Cancer Society calls on politicians to use the election campaign to debate the high alcohol consumption of young people.


Bacardi Breezers, Mokaï and canned beers should not be sold to young people under the age of 18. At least, if 62% of voters have their way. Only 18% are against an 18-year age limit for buying alcohol. This is shown by a new poll conducted by Epinion for the Danish Cancer Society among 2,682 representative Danes.


Jesper Fisker, managing director of the Cancer Society, is delighted: "An 18-year age limit for buying alcohol is one of the most effective tools to reduce young people's harmful alcohol consumption. The massive public support is a wake-up call to politicians - I hope they will listen."


Youth drinking has major consequences in both the short and long term. In total, alcohol sent over 1,700 young people to hospital in 2018, and every month alcohol is responsible for one death among young people. In the long term, alcohol increases the risk of more than 200 different conditions and diseases, including at least seven types of cancer.


Cross-party support

Across parties - with the exception of the Liberal Alliance and the Moderates - a majority of voters support an 18-year age limit for the purchase of alcohol. And across all parties, voters are significantly more in favour of an 18-year age limit than against it.


"You just have to state that the voters are sometimes braver than the politicians. I hope that the parties will listen to the voters and announce during the election campaign whether the ambitions for a healthier alcohol culture among young people can match the voters", says Jesper Fisker.


In some of the largest parties' electorates, support is higher than average. This is the case for Social Democratic voters, where support is 71% and the Conservative People's Party, where 66% support.


No agreement on prevention The age limit for buying alcohol was the subject of heated debate in the spring during negotiations on a health agreement.


The government proposed raising the age limit to 18, but the parties failed to reach an agreement. The same was true of the government's proposal to stop tobacco sales to people born after 2010, and there was never a common agreement on prevention.


This upsets Jesper Fisker: "Hopefully, after the elections, we will have politicians in Christiansborg who have the courage and ambition to give children and young people the chance of a long and healthy life."


Facts about young people and alcohol

Danish children and young people drink alcohol too early and too much. 40% of 15-16-year-old Danes have been drunk in the past month. Denmark is one of only five countries in the EU where alcohol can still be bought by 16-year-olds in retail outlets.


Attitude towards an 18-year-old age limit for the purchase of alcohol

How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements? An age limit of 18 should be introduced for the purchase of alcohol in Denmark

Party

Strongly agree + agree

Strongly Disagree + Disagree

Social Democrats

71%

12%

Denmark's Liberal Party

59%

18%

Social Liberal Party

51%

24%

Conservative People's Party

66%

18%

Socialist People's Party

61%

19%

Red–Green Alliance

62%

18%

People's Party

77%

12%

New Right

57%

28%

Moderates

49%

23%

Democrats

60%

16%

Liberal Alliance

48%

30%

TOTAL

62%

18%


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