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Regulating unregulated markets

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Ongoing political and economic changes in the ex-socialist countries have proved to be very expensive socially. The sudden transition from a centrally planned to a market economy had led to an increase of social problems. One commonly observed danger is the rapid increase in alcohol consumption. The rates of total alcohol consumption are particularly high in those countries where spirit consumption dominates. Considerable pressure is being applied to liberate the alcohol market from all restrictions. Inadequate legislation in the new economic situation, modifications in value systems, and the general rejection of all legislative solutions developed under the previous regime have created a climate conducive to the development of an unregulated alcohol market. State administrations have lost control of the alcohol market. Previous data on consumption have ceased to be reliable sources of information. The dynamic increase in alcohol-related problems is dangerous for public health. If this situation is to be corrected, the first step must be regulation of the alcohol market.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 1997


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