Over half of Chinese teens drink
More than half of young people in China start consuming alcoholic beverages before they reach adulthood, a survey has found.
The report, conducted by drinks giant Pernod Ricard China and Horizon Research Consultancy Group, looked at drinking behaviour among the youngsters and aimed at helping to promote the message of responsible drinking.
It polled 1,258 people aged 18 to 30, mainly university students and office workers from the cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu and Xiamen.
Though 78.9 per cent of those polled agreed people should take up drinking only after becoming an adult, just over half actually started drinking when they were under 18.
"Young people do not think that underage drinking is improper, and think minors can drink in certain cases, such as when they are accompanied by parents, or just drink a little," said Shen Min, one of the researchers.
The survey suggested that Chinese young people understand that responsible drinking means not drinking excessively, not driving after drinking and not drinking if pregnant.
Nearly 42 per cent said they had experienced drinking excessively and 71.7 per cent have seen their friends drunk. But less than 10 per cent of them know the exact meaning of excessive drinking.
According to regulations and laws in China, retailers are not allowed to sell alcohol to minors.
However, experts said that judging by these latest survey results, the rules appear to have failed to keep teenagers away.
Last year, another report released by Shanghai Institutes For Biological Sciences under the Chinese Academy of Sciences showed that more than half of its surveyed middle school students (53.8 per cent) have experience of drinking. - China Daily / ANN
Published June 9, 2012