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Vietnam’s tipple may strengthen social bonding but harm health

THE Vietnamese saying, "a man without spirits is like a flag without wind" (nam vo tuu nhu ky vo phong) celebrates the association of masculinity with drinking. It also signifies the emergence of a prosperous society that has become one of the biggest consumers of alcohol in the world.

The runaway consumption in Vietnam draws attention to the cultural tradition of drinking home-brewed wine as well as domestic and foreign distilled products in a post-communist state. Vietnam's per capita consumption of pure alcohol among adults rose from 3.8 litres in 2003 to 2005 to 8.3 litres per capita in 2016, a decadal increase of more than 100 per cent, according to 2018 World Health Organization (WHO) data....

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