Massive Dry February Initiative Expected to Reach 1 Million Czechs

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In an effort to promote healthier lifestyles and raise awareness about the risks of alcohol consumption, the Czech Republic is launching its annual campaign, Dry February, locally known as Suchej únor. It is projected that approximately 1 million individuals will participate in the initiative this year, surpassing last year’s participation of around 900,000.

Advocacy for Sobriety by Health Minister

Supported by the Ministry of Health, the campaign has gained the attention of Health Minister Vlastimil Válek. Stressing the dangers associated with alcohol, including its potential to cause various diseases like cancer, the Health Minister advocates for reducing or completely eliminating alcohol consumption to significantly improve health. The campaign has previously shown promising results, with over half of the participants reportedly reducing their alcohol intake after the challenge.

Incentives for Participation

To encourage participation, the campaign offers various incentives for financial supporters. These incentives include access to online exercise programs, memberships to weight loss apps, and free shared bike rides. Registration for Dry February also includes perks such as a 29-day calendar of complimentary teas and fitness exercises, available for CZK 490. Alternatively, a ‘dry online backpack’ with limited benefits is offered for CZK 290.

Addressing High Alcohol Consumption

The campaign aims to tackle the high rates of alcohol consumption in the Czech Republic. Czech citizens currently have one of the highest alcohol consumption rates worldwide, with an average consumption of 7.1 liters of vodka, 20.8 liters of wine, and 135.4 liters of beer in 2021. The Ministry of Health estimates that 1.5 million Czechs have risky drinking habits. Excessive alcohol consumption also carries significant economic and societal costs, with an estimated annual impact of CZK 56 billion.