Mongolian president appeals to stay away from vodka during new year period

ULAN BATOR, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- Mongolian President Elbegdorj Tsakhia Friday appealed to the Mongolian public to give up drinking vodka when attending a new year ceremony.

"I will not allow vodka in my cup and I'm also asking you not to allow vodka in your cup from now on," Elbegdorj said.

"Drinking has become the most difficult challenge to Mongolian society today, as even children are drinking this poison," he added.

Alcoholism has become a growing social problem in Mongolia. More than 20 percent of the country's male population and five percent of women have an addiction to alcohol, according to the World Health Organization.

There are about 100 vodka distilleries in Mongolia which generate a big chunk of government revenue. Alcoholic consumption is also blamed for growing violent crimes in Mongolia.

Source:Xinhua News Agency of China



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