The National Institute for Nutrition and Health of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention has published a new survey that shows: 51% of Chinese junior and senior highschool students have tried alcohol. 15% of them have been alcohol intoxicated at least once in their lives. The research was conducted in six major Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Jinan, Chengdu and Harbin, from 2013 to 2014. It surveyed 30,605 junior and senior high school students between the ages of 12 to 20.
The onset age is extremely early. Among those who have ever tried alcohol, 28% did so before the age of 10.
“Teenage alcohol use in China has become an urgent problem,” said Ma Guansheng, a Peking University professor of public health, at a news conference on the release of the report, according to the Shanghai-based National Business Daily.
“We need to work together to educate teenagers not to use alcohol.”
Although Chinese laws prohibit selling alcohol to juniors, the laws are not being enforced effectively enough.
Across China there’s wide and easy access to alcohol at supermarkets and convenience stores, where ID cards are rarely checked. Also the social availability of alcohol needs to be decreased as often and frequently, older family members do encourage young people to use alcohol.
The report said that prevalence of underage alcohol use is encouraged by weak alcohol policies in China and a lack of understanding that alcohol use is harmful.
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