5 years ago

The internet trade of counterfeit spirits in Russia – an emerging problem undermining alcohol, public health and youth protection policies? [version 1; referees: 2 approved]

Dirk W. Lachenmeier, Stephan G. Walch, Maria Neufeld, Jürgen Rehm
Counterfeit alcohol belongs to the category of unrecorded alcohol not reflected in official statistics. The internet trade of alcoholic beverages has been prohibited by the Russian Federation since 2007, but various sellers still offer counterfeit spirits (i.e., forged brand spirits) over the internet to Russian consumers, mostly in a non-deceptive fashion at prices up to 15 times lower than in regular sale. The public health issues arising from this unregulated trade include potential harm to underage drinkers, hazards due to toxic ingredients such as methanol, but most importantly alcohol harms due to potentially increased drinking volumes due to low prices and high availability on the internet. The internet sale also undermines existing alcohol policies such as restrictions of sale locations, sale times and minimum pricing. The need to enforce measures against counterfeiting of spirits, but specifically their internet trade should be implemented as key elements of alcohol policies to reduce unrecorded alcohol consumption, which is currently about 33 % of total consumption in Russia.

Publisher URL: https://f1000research.com/articles/6-520/v1

DOI: 10.12688/f1000research.11418.1

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