Healthcare: NAFDAC cautions Nigerians against alcohol abuse

*Alcohol in sachets, small volume PET, or glass bottles identified as a factor contributing to substance, alcohol abuse with negative impacts on Nigerian society ─ Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Describing alcohol as a toxic and psychoactive substance with dependence producing properties, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has advised Nigerian consumers to exercise caution when  consuming alcoholic beverages that could have deteriorating effects on their health.

Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of NAFDAC, who offered the advice in a statement Friday, urged the general public to avoid unregistered alcoholic products.

The Director-General described alcohol as a toxic and psychoactive substance with dependence producing properties.

Uncontrolled access and availability of high concentration alcohol is common in sachet and small volume Poly-Ethylene Terephthalate (PET), or glass bottles, said Adeyeye.

She observed that alcohol in sachet and small volume PET, or glass bottles had been put forward as a factor contributing to substance and alcohol abuse in Nigeria with its negative impacts on the society.

Adeyeye said: “NAFDAC wishes to bring to the attention of the general public, concerns relating to the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in sachets and small volume glass and Poly-Ethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles.

“These concerns relate to negative effects of irresponsible alcohol consumption on public health and on the safety and security of the public.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that alcohol consumption contributes to three million deaths each year globally as well as to the disabilities and poor health of millions of people.

NAFDAC Director-General disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Health is concerned about the high incidence of substance and alcohol abuse in the country, and that agency, being the competent authority, is increasing efforts to stem this.

The agency has continued to exercise its regulatory responsibilities by ensuring that all alcoholic beverages and other regulated products approved by the agency meet the set standards of quality, safety and wholesomeness, said she.

According to the regulatory agency, in 2019, it engaged and sensitise major stakeholders at the highest level and several interventions jointly agreed upon were being undertaken.

Adeyeye stated that “it was agreed that no new products in sachet and small volume PET or glass bottles above 30 per cent ABV will be registered by NAFDAC.

“Furthermore, to reduce availability and curb abuse, effective January 31, 2020, producers of alcohol in sachets and small volume PET and glass bottles are to reduce production by 50 percent of capacity.

“The overall goal is a complete phase out of high concentration alcohol in sachet and small PET and glass bottles in line with the agreed roadmap.”

NAFDAC was in the process of monitoring and enforcing all agreements jointly reached between the Federal Ministry of Health, alcohol producers and other stakeholders.

We are committed to preventing easy access to alcohol by young people and other vulnerable and high-risk groups, Adeyeye stated.

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