Poles tend to reach for stronger spirits report shows
Poles' alcohol consumption pattern is changing towards more frequent use of strong spirits, according to the latest report.
The data of the State Agency for Solving Alcohol Problems shows that the total consumption of alcohol per capita has decreased in Poland to 9.62 litres in 2020 and 9.7 litres in 2021, down by 0.16 litres and 0.08 litres, respectively, compared to 2019.
However, according to the report "Alcohol in Poland" covering these two years, although Poles drink a little less overall than before the outbreak of the Covid pandemic they more often reach for stronger spirits.
"The structure of consumption of alcoholic beverages in Poland is shifting towards the eastern model of drinking, with a growing share of high-proof alcoholic drinks," wrote the report's author Andrzej M. Fal, president of the Polish Society of Public Health.
The report shows that the 39.2-percent share of strong spirits among all alcoholic beverages is the highest in 30 years and the sale of vodka, whiskey, gin and rum is growing.
Wine drinking, favoured by women, is also on the rise and accounts for 8.3 percent of overall consumption.
At the same time, the share of beer in total alcohol consumption is the lowest in 20 years, having fallen to 52.5 percent from the record 60 percent in 2012.
Slightly lower overall alcohol consumption in Poland results from the fact that some drink less and choose drinks with a lower alcohol content or non-alcoholic beers, which is a new trend.
But Fal points to two negative phenomena. "We started drinking less as a population, but those who drank - now drink even more alcohol and reach for it more often."
This applies to the so-called binge drinkers who consume at least six units of alcohol on one occasion (one unit is 10 grams of pure alcohol) but also to those who drink less, three to six units of alcohol, which is still too much.