VILNIUS, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Lithuanian parliament has adopted amendments to the country's Law on Alcohol Control on Thursday banning producing and selling food products, beverages, toys and other goods for children if their design imitates alcoholic drinks.
"If we wish that our children do not consume alcoholic drinks, if we wish that the corresponding behavioral patterns would not be programmed in the early childhood, then it is logical to renounce such goods," Lithuania's Minister of Health Aurelijus Veryga was quoted as saying by local media.
The law amendments will come into force in November, 2019.
Veryga said that similar bans have long been in place as regards tobacco control. "Probably some of you still remember 'cigarettes' made of chocolate or chewing gum," Veryga said.
In his words, so called "children's champagne" and similar drinks contributes to modeling of inappropriate tradition which suggests that important occasions should be celebrated using alcoholic beverages.
"Around 0.5 million of 'children's champagne' is sold in Lithuania every year, which means about 1 bottle for each child," Veryga said.
According to official statistics, there are 500,000 children aged 0-17 years in Lithuania. The Baltic country's total population is 2.8 million.
In recent years, Lithuanian authorities have been considering measures aimed at restricting access of alcohol, due to concerns over alcohol abuse in the Baltic country.
Back in April, Lithuanian authorities suggested considering a legal ban on prohibiting pregnant women from drinking alcohol due to incidents related to drunken pregnant women.
Raising the minimum drinking age to 20, restricting alcohol sale hours and introducing alcohol advertising ban are among the amendments to the Alcohol Control Law adopted in recent years.