Vietnam is burdened by the biggest amount of alcohol consumption in the ASEAN region. Alcohol use in Vietnam undermines and erodes poverty eradication and hunger alleviation programs and fuels a vicious cycle.
Evidence also shows that alcohol often is the reason behind high number of traffic accidents cases and family violence.
During the eight days of Tet holiday, 5,000 people were hospitalized after fights and 13 of them died. Many of the victims were under the influence of alcohol, according to reports.
According to the Vietnam Beverage Association (VBA), Vietnam consumed 3.4 billion liters of beer in 2015, an increase of 10% over the year before and a 41% increase if compared with 2010.
With the beer consumption increasing from 2.8 billion in 2012 to over 3 billion liters, Vietnam has become the biggest beer consumer in South East Asia.
According to Vu Minh Hanh from the Healthcare Strategy and Policy Institute, the average per capita beer consumption in the world remains unchanged over the last 15 years, at 6.2 liters per annum. But Vietnamese beer consumption has increased rapidly from 4 liters in 2003-2005 to 6.6 liters.
Economists have proposed a higher luxury tax on beer, liquor and wine products. Evidence shows that alcohol taxation is cost-effective and impactful in both, reducing alcohol consumption and related harm as well as in raising government funds for health promotion and welfare interventions.