European Education Center for alcohol, tobacco and other drugs has fulfilled a research. According to the results, the mostly consumed alcohol among Georgian teenagers is wine 40%, beer 36%, Spirt drinks 305 and Alco pop 14%. The head of non-contagious illnesses department, Lela Sturua talked about the tendencies in Georgia, in terms of alcohol consumption compared to European Standards.
Can we compare this statistics to previous results and talk about some changes, what kind of methods did they use to create statistics and how alarming is the situation in Georgia compared to other countries?
According to the statistics, compared to Europe, some of the rates are more but the others are less. Basically, most of the statistics are quite similar to European but unfortunately their rate is also quite alarming. It has to be considered that statistics in Tbilisi is always higher than in the rest of the country.
Are there some specific tendencies in Georgia?
Unfortunately, it is a basic research and if we talk about Georgian scale, it’s a research about 16 year’s old teenagers. When it’s concerning teenagers between 13 and 15, we conduct a research with the support of World Health Organization and it is about the tobacco consumption.
Is the current situation alarming according to the results?
It is quite alarming partially, because some of the rates are particularly high, such as tobacco consumption among boys. In this sense, the situation is quite alarming.
Are there any recommendations how to improve the situation?
Of course, there are. Ministry of education was also involved in the research. It is partially responsibility of Ministry of Sports and Youth and they have an interest to do something, because it is obvious that only ministry of health and illness control center cannot change the situation. There has to be a plan which can improve the statistics for good.
Are there some rules concerning drug policy?
There are no statistics about drugs in general. There are preventions programs in many countries which help to decrease the rate. We are currently working on guidelines about tobacco consumption which aims to give information to youngsters about the dangers. These guidelines will be ready by the end of the year and afterwards, we will give it to Ministry of Education and they will continue working on it.
According to the research, 80-90% of our population wants to have free smoking areas everywhere. Our current law does not include 100% freedom of smoking, but there is no way to control it and enforce the law in daily life.
According to the law, it is prohibited to sell alcohol to youngsters till 18, however the research showed a different picture…
It is true that teenagers have an access to both alcohol and tobacco in the shop irrespective of their age. When it comes to an alcohol, every Georgian family allows their children to drink alcohol because of our culture, but it’s a wrong attitude. We should not encourage teenagers to consume alcohol at an early age.
What is the situation concerning internet addiction and gambling?
Statistics concerning the internet addiction is quite law and Georgian teenagers spend less time on the internet than Europeans, but when it comes to gambling, our statistics are twice higher than those in Europe, therefore, it is a really dangerous tendency.