The Tobacco and Alcohol Control Office under the Department of Health has received complaints against five stores that sold alcoholic drinks to minors since a new ban took effect less than 10 days ago, Director of Health Dr. Constance Chan Hon-yee said.
The government began on Nov. 30 to prohibit the sale and supply of intoxicating liquor to minors under 18 years old in the course of business either by direct or remote distribution, as well as the sale of alcoholic beverages in vending machines.
After attending an event held by the Hong Kong Anti-Cancer Society on Sunday, Chan revealed that inspectors from the office had been deployed to more than 100 locations to enforce the ban and found that 30 of them did not display notices about the prohibition, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.
Of the 11 complaints received so far, five involved sales to minors, Chan said.
Chan said her department is investigating the complaints and will decide whether to recommend prosecution based on the evidence.
She also said the health department will step up efforts to promote the ban and its health ambassadors will continue distributing related signs for stores to put up.
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Anti-Cancer Society said its latest study showed that less than three in 10 of those interviewed who have been drinking alcohol were not aware that drinking alcohol can increase the risk of contracting cancer, although nearly seven in 10 knew alcohol is bad for the liver.
According to the society, people who consume one bottle of beer on a daily basis are more prone to cancer, while women who drink the same amount are more likely to increase the risk of contracting breast cancer.
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