Russia’s ban on non-food alcohol sales reduces poisoning deaths by a quarter

Russia’s ban on non-food alcohol sales reduces poisoning deaths by a quarter
The number of deaths caused by tainted alcohol poisoning has fallen by 25 percent since Russian authorities imposed a ban on the sale of alcohol-containing non-food products, the government consumer rights watchdog has reported.

The press service of the Rospotrebnadzor agency told TASS that there were 677 alcohol poisonings over the New Year holidays in 2018, compared to 1,800 during the same period last year. The number of fatalities was 46 compared to 500 – an eleven-fold decrease, the press service added.

Overall, the number of fatal alcohol-poisoning cases in the country declined by 25 percent over the past five years, the watchdog said.

Russia introduced the ban on retail sales of alcohol-containing non-food products in late 2016, after at least 48 people in south Siberia’s Irkutsk Region died from acute poisoning caused by drinking ethanol-laced bath lotion. Producers and distributors of the deadly lotion were apprehended and put on trial. In late February this year, an Irkutsk court ordered the principle producer of the lotion to be fined 250,000 rubles ($4,032) for illegally dealing with poisonous substances and for selling goods that pose a danger to the health and life of consumers.

In January, Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said that the per-capita consumption of alcohol in the country dropped by 80 percent over the last seven years.

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