The World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged the government of Lithuania to curb alcohol consumption in the country.
Lithuania is one of Europe’s most successful countries with regard to reducing tobacco use and harm. But it has still much room for improvement in curbing alcohol consumption according Zsuzsanna Jakab, director of the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Europe.
There are areas that you still have to improve, one of them I would like to highlight is alcohol.
There was progress but it’s going a bit up and down. But, unfortunately, it is something that you have to continue to invest because that is also linked to the big burning problem of cardiovascular diseases that you have in this country as a leading cause of death and mortality.
It is also linked to many of the mental diseases and depression.
Mrs. Jakab spoke at the WHO Europe Regional Committee meeting in Vilnius in a news conference on Thursday.
Lithuania had succumbed to alcohol industry pressure a few years ago, when it was already set to introduce a comprehensive ban on alcohol advertising, but ultimately gave in to aggressive lobbying from the alcohol industry.
Alcohol consumption continue to be above European average, and Europe itself is the heaviest alcohol consuming region in the world. Alcohol harm is a substantial burden on Lithuanian public health, social fabric and economic development.