Over 38 percent of public servants and the same rate of unskilled workers in Vietnam frequently drink alcohol or beer, according to a survey by the Hanoi-based Institute of Sociology.
Dr. Dang Nguyen Anh, from the institute, released the figures at a meeting on Wednesday to introduce the results of a sociological poll carried out in Hanoi, the northern province of Lao Cai, the central city of Da Nang, and the southern province of Long An from March to May 2015.
Among the number of young people involved in the survey, about 25 percent said they regularly drink alcohol and beer, Dr. Anh said.
Many people tend to think that traders or farmers are the champions of beer and alcohol but this survey shows that civil servants, unskilled workers, and youths are three groups that drink the most, he added.
Civil servants down such alcoholic drinks the most possibly because they often do not have to pay, Dr. Anh said.
Sixty-three percent of the respondents said that the quality of alcohol and beer they have drunk is acceptable, while the rest deemed it bad or unnoticeable, he added.
The researcher noted that more than 67 percent of those polled claimed alcohol and beer are good for health, whereas 51 percent asserted that the drinks help streamline communication.
Ten percent even said that alcoholic beverages create a sound mind.
Beer production in Vietnam is forecast to top seven billion liters in 2025, twice the figure in 2011.
Drunk driving is now the third leading cause of traffic accidents, after driving in wrong lanes and speeding, Dr. Anh said.
Nearly 13 percent of the respondents admitted they usually drive vehicles after drinking, while more than 35 percent said that they sometimes do so.
Nguyen Van Tien, deputy chairman of the National Assembly Committee on Social Affairs, said that about 70 percent of regular drinkers of beer and alcohol consume the drinks at home.
With alcohol consumption per capita increasing year after year, Vietnam is among the 25 countries with the highest growth rates when it comes to alcohol and beer consumption, the Ministry of Health’s Institute of Health Strategy and Policy said in a report last year.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are four levels of risk in using alcohol and beer: drinking at a safe level, drinking at a low risk, drinking at a harmful level, and alcoholism.
In order to minimize the harmful effects of alcohol, the WHO advises that men and women should not drink more than two units and one unit of alcohol per day respectively.
A unit is equivalent to 330ml of beer, 30ml of liquor, or 150ml of wine, according to the global health organization.