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Lithuania needs more self-respect, says minister

Dec 21, 2013
From wire reports, VILNIUS

The Ministry of Health of Lithuania is making every effort to reduce the consumption of alcohol and tobacco levels in the country, reports ELTA. Minister of Health Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis describes the current situation as a "shame and tragedy."

"Indicators analyzed by the World Health Organization (WHO), puts Lithuania in line with Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan (..). Latvia and Estonia have achieved better results in the regulation of alcohol and tobacco consumption compared to Lithuania. A shame. It is a tragedy. (..) Either Lithuania has to deny these numbers [exist, or are] wrong or Lithuania has to make [the right] conclusion," said Andriukaitis at a press conference on Dec. 20.

According to the minister, the Ministry will seek to change public health policy next year. Andriukaitis said he would pay more attention to public health prevention, restriction of access to alcohol, a smaller number of issued licenses for sale of alcohol and tobacco and stricter rules for advertising regulations.

"The indicators are pathetic. To trail behind the EU is a shameful matter. It is necessary to clearly explain it. A self-respecting country should have a national standard and it should hold back every citizen," said Andriukaitis.

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