Spiritseurope warns against Luxembourg plans to raise legal age of buying spirits

Spiritseurope has written to the Luxembourg Ministry for Health and Economic Affairs to caution against prospective plans to raise the legal purchasing age for spirits, but not for beer or wine.

Ulrich Adam, director general of Spiritseurope warned that such a move would mislead consumers to believe that beer or wine are in some way different from spirits. 

“Raising the legal purchasing age for spirits risks sending a message to young people that they can drink beer and wine with less risk,” said Adam.

“It is not true and it is dangerous. All alcohol should be enjoyed in moderation, by those who are of age, and we must ensure that we do not mislead consumers to believe that any alcohol is healthier than another, or acceptable for those underage.”

The WHO has said that 80% of alcohol consumed is Luxembourg is either beer or wine and that only 20% is in the form of spirits while a report commissioned by the European Commission shows that 66% of alcohol consumed by young people across the EU is from categories other than spirits.

Adam concluded: “Europeans are drinking more and more responsibly and proposals such as this could work against this trend by sending a message to those underage that it’s acceptable to drink alcohol, when it is not.

“We hope that the government will reconsider this proposal and we are ready to work with them to tackle harmful drinking in a sensible way.”