Alcohol consumption in the Czech Republic reaches new highs in 2020

Experts say overall consumption has been on the rise since 2014, but the 2020 figures were the highest in the past three years.

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 10.06.2021 16:04 (updated on 10.06.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Prague, June 10 (CTK) - There were more frequent alcohol drinkers in the Czech Republic in 2020 than the year before and the estimated average yearly consumption rose significantly, reaching the highest figure in the past three years, shows a survey released by the National Institute of Public Health (SZU) today.

The national survey of tobacco use and alcohol consumption in the Czech Republic in 2020 shows that one-fifth of the inhabitants drank every day or every other day and the number of Czech frequent drinkers rose by 2.4 percentage points last year.

On average, eight liters of pure alcohol per capita were consumed in the Czech Republic in 2020, 0.3 liters more than the year before. If teetotallers do not count, the score per person comes to 9.5 liters, 0.7 liters more as against 2019.

The SZU conducts the surveys on alcohol and tobacco consumption annually. In total, 1,769 respondents took part in the survey last year. The SZU says this is a very representative sample of Czechs over 15. The survey was conducted between mid-November and late December 2020.

Roughly one fifth of the polled, 19.8 percent, stated they drink every day or once in two days, which is 2.4 percent more than in 2019. Men reported frequent drinking in 29 percent, while 11 percent of women said the same.

Fifty percent of men and 28 percent of women consume alcohol beverages at least once a week.

It is very likely that the health, social and economic risks related to an excessive alcohol consumption concern one in five Czech adults, the SZU said.

The most frequently drunk alcoholic beverage is beer; 57 percent of men drink it at least once a week or more often. Overall, one-third of the interviewed, 35.9 percent, drank it at least once in seven days in 2020.

Women tend to prefer wine, nearly 25 percent of them drank it at least once a week. As for spirits, roughly one in six men and 9 percent of women drank them once a week at least last year.

Based on the survey, experts assume that eight liters of pure alcohol per capita were consumed in the Czech Republic last year. Men consume more than twice as much as women. Men drank 13 liters of pure alcohol per person last year, while women nearly six liters.

Overall, experts say the consumption has been on the rise since 2014, but the 2020 figures were the highest in the past three years.

Risk alcohol drinking is defined as 40 up to 60 grams of alcohol for men, which corresponds to three beers or glasses of wine per day. For women, it is 20 to 40 grams, two beers or glasses of wine.

Experts say the daily consumption of over 60 grams for men and 40 grams for women is harmful.

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Roughly 8 percent of the polled acknowledged risk drinking, while 9 percent admitted harmful drinking.

Some 12.8 percent of Czechs reported excessive alcohol doses every week, 3 percentage point fewer than in 2019.

If teetotallers are not taken into account, 15 percent of the adult population in Czechia would be drinking excessively. Excessive drinking was noticed in one fifth of men and 8.4 percent of women.

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Frequent alcohol consumption hints at problems with alcohol and means a risk factor when it comes to various injuries, road accidents, and violent behavior.

In contrast, roughly one sixth, 15.8 percent of Czechs are reported to be long-term or lifelong teetotallers, which is the highest share of population since 2012.

Experts point to the relation between alcohol and tobacco. Speaking of harmful drinking, 45.5 percent of heavily drinking people were smokers, while only 23.1 percent of moderate drinkers smoke.

In total, 23.1 percent of Czechs over 15 smoked classic cigarettes and this share has been on the decrease. In contrast, e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products are gaining popularity mainly among young people.

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