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  • Lauri Beekmann

NordAN supports Latvia's proposed alcohol policy amendments

20.03.2023 - The Nordic Alcohol and Drug Policy Network (NordAN) has written a letter to the Prime Minister of Latvia, Mr. Krisjanis Karins, and several other ministers, expressing support for the draft laws developed by Latvia's Ministry of Health. These proposed amendments aim to limit the availability, advertising, and marketing of alcoholic beverages, introduce labeling requirements, and implement other measures to promote public health.

In the letter, NordAN commends Latvia's efforts to reduce alcohol-related harm and highlights several key aspects of the proposed measures. These include banning price reduction and special offer commercials for alcoholic beverages across various media forms, which can help prevent the normalization of alcohol consumption and support efforts to reduce excessive drinking.

Another significant proposal is the introduction of pictograms on alcoholic beverages, advising against alcohol consumption during pregnancy and while driving. This long-overdue measure, along with providing labeling information about components, nutritional value, and energy value, enables consumers to make informed decisions about their consumption.

NordAN praises Latvia's recent decision to impose criminal liability for driving with a blood alcohol content above 1.5 promille. This strong move sets an example for other European countries, as drunk driving continues to be a significant issue in the region.

The letter also encourages the Latvian government to increase awareness about the risks of drinking during pregnancy and to consider adding cancer warnings to labels, in line with Europe's Beating Cancer Plan, which aims to implement mandatory health warnings on labels by the end of 2023.

NordAN urges the Latvian government to approve these amendments and forward them for consideration in Parliament, emphasizing that while these steps are positive, ongoing attention to alcohol policy is crucial for the health and safety of citizens.

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