The incidence of alcoholism is rising fast across the country and teenagers are the fastest growing segment, according to the findings of a long-term study of the disease by six hospitals.
The study conducted by Tri- Service General Hospital (
The study indicates that the alcoholism rate has mushroomed from 0.015 percent 40-years ago to 1.5 percent today, a hundred-fold increase.
Doctors blamed the increase on TV and newspaper advertisements aimed at teens and a lax attitude towards the sale of alcoholic beverages.
Health workers have petitioned the government to regulate alcohol advertisements.
"We have made numerous requests but all to no avail," said a hospital worker.
Around NT$30 billion worth of beer, the drink of choice among teenagers, was sold nationwide last year, industry sources said.
Taiwan Beer took an 80 percent share of the market, according to industry sources.
Rock star Wu Bai (
A catchy advertising campaign focusing on Wu Bai helped boost sales last year, according to a spokesman from the Taiwan Tobacco & Wine Monopoly Bureau (
However, Wu Bai has denied any responsibility for the increase in drinking among teens.
"The law states that alcohol shouldn't be served or sold to minors, so how are teenagers purchasing alcohol?" Wu Bai asked. "This is a problem for the government and the business community to work out," he said.
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