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WHO meeting in China's Hong Kong addresses teen drinking | Updated: 2013-11-19 13:53

Representatives from countries and areas in the Western Pacific Region of the World Health Organization (WHO) are taking part in a three-day meeting in China's Hong Kong starting Tuesday to address the harmful use of alcohol by young people.

The event, titled "World Health Organization Western Pacific Regional Meeting on Addressing the Harmful Use of Alcohol by Young People", was jointly organized by the Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) of the WHO and the Department of Health (DH) of China's Hong Kong.

A total of 33 delegates from 17 countries and areas in the Western Pacific Region, together with 10 advisers and a number of local observers, are attending the meeting.

The event serves as a follow-up to the meeting on "Non-communicable Diseases Prevention and Control through the Reduction of Alcohol-related Harm" held in Hong Kong last year.

In his opening remarks, Director of Program Management of the WPRO Han Tieru highlighted the negative impact of alcohol on the youth population and underlined the importance of concerted efforts in deterring young people from the harmful use of alcohol.

"Repeated use of alcohol has a long-term negative effect on memory and learning. Secondly, alcohol is a strong agent of disinhibition, in which young people leads to high-risk behavior," Han said, adding it was clear from research that the strongest predictor of alcohol dependence in adulthood was heavy drinking during adolescence.

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