Bern, Switzerland (TSR, Fre) – The Swiss federal health department Wednesday proposed to sharply curb sales of over-the-counter alcoholic drinks, as part of national alcoholism prevention efforts aimed particularly at young people. The department’s new guidelines call for alcohol sales to be banned from 21:00 to 07:00 in petrol stations, train stations and grocery stores. Geneva banned after-dark alcohol sales except in restaurants and bars in 2005 and the federal department has used this as its example. Other measures that are part of the guidelines are raising wine and beer taxes and cutting alcohol sales at international sports matches.
Some 2,100 deaths annually in Switzerland are linked to alcohol consumption.
The health department’s proposals were drawn up after wide consultation with groups in the health, care and substance abuse fields, and with the hotel and restaurant industry. Its recommendations will now go to the Federal Council, which will also consult interested groups. If the federal government agrees, it will share a final proposal with the cantons, which will decide whether or not to put the new rules into effect.
Federal health department: alcohol, tobacco and drugs division