Uganda Plans to Raise Alcohol Consumption Age From 18 to 21

The Ugandan government has announced plans to increase the legal age for consuming alcohol from 18 to 21.

The World Health Statistics 2023 Report ranks Uganda among the leading countries for high rates of alcohol consumption. Men consume more than women, with an average of 19.93 litres of pure alcohol annually compared to 4.88 litres for women.

According to the WHO report, it is estimated that Ugandans currently consume 12.2 litres of alcohol per person annually, which is significantly higher than the global average.

“Research has shown that if someone has not taken an addictive substance by 21, they are much less likely to use addictive substances later in life,” Dr Hafsa Lukwata, the Ministry of Health commissioner for mental health, alcohol and substance abuse, told the BBC.

“It is 88% chances that they will never take this substance. At 18 years of age, the chances are 48 percent,” Dr Lukwata added.

According to her, many industries will approach policy makers, some of which she called drunkards to have this altered.  

“Most of the industries will approach some policy makers who also drunkards because they take alcohol to have this altered. They will say, ‘why are you making life difficult.’ No for addictive substance; the age has to be 21 years,’’ she said.

“There has been a public outcry over substance abuse in young people,” Dr Lukwata further said.

She said that parliament will discuss the age limit, among other measures, in the soon-to-be presented Alcohol Control Bill.

Source: BBC & Daily Monitor

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