French blame Brits for binge drinking teens
Source: The Spirits Business
by Melita Kiely
7th April, 2015
The French government has pointed the finger of blame at British citizens suggesting the UK is responsible for the country’s rising number of binge-drinkers.
Officials accused British binge drinkers of encouraging a heavy drinking lifestyle among French young people, so much so that the term ‘binge-drinking’ has now become part of the French language.
Officials have banned the term from French government documents and created the French alternative saying of ‘beuverie-express’ meaning ‘fast drinking’.
Almost half of those aged between 18 and 25-years-old in France have admitted to binge drinking at least once in the past year – up from 33% a decade ago.
“It is really an Anglo-Saxon phenomenon that’s beginning to slip in to the generation from the 15-24-year-olds,” commented François Bourdillon, chief of French state health watchdog National Institute of Prevention and Health Education, as reported by the Express.
“Consumption of alcohol in France is particularly worrying among young people and especially among young women.
“Besides the obvious health concerns, binge drinking can also lead to violence against women, sometimes fatal drunken accidents, and unprotected sex.”
Figures also showed the number of young people who have consumed an excessive amount of alcohol in the last year has nearly doubled from 15% to 29%.
Now, the French government is warning it will punish bar, pub and club owners found to be encouraging binge drinking with up to a year in prison and a fine of up to ?15,000 (£12,000).
“We have to put a stop to drunkenness that does such damage to young people,” said health minister Marisol Touraine, when she first introduced the bill in October.
“This trend is a risk to their own health, and as a result puts an extra strain on the health service.
“Some may accuse the government of wanting to arrest people for having fun. But it is our job to encourage citizens to moderate their alcohol intake.”