Vending Machines for Alcoholic Beverages
14ymedio, Marcelo Hernandez, Havana, 23 May 2017 — The campaigns against
the consumption of alcohol have met an enemy. This is not an outspoken
advocate of Mojitos or Cuba Libres, but of the vending machines that
dispense national and imported beers simply at the introduction of a few
coins. Several of these devices are located in the central streets of
Havana, accessible to anyone regardless of age.
“Go get me a Heineken from the machine next door,” a father said to his
little son from the doorway of a tenement on the Malecon. A few feet
away, without controls or supervision, stands the automaton that catches
kids’ attention because it “spits cold cans,” said one of them. No
employee of the nearby restaurant, La Abadía, seems to pay attention to
who uses the service.
A recent survey found that 36% of Cuban youth drink alcohol and 12%
drink and smoke. Among them an alarming number begin to consume tobacco
and alcohol between the ages of 11 and 13.
A common practice among parents is to encourage their sons, still
minors, to have a sip of rum because “it’s a men’s thing.” For many
adolescents virility is measured in the amount of “lines” of alcohol
they can consume. A trend that these vending machines, without any
controls, will facilitate even more.
Across the pond, in Spain, the sale of beer through the use of vending
machines has been banned since 2010, according to a law enacted that
same year that limits the access of alcoholic beverages to minors.
Source: Vending Machines for Alcoholic Beverages – Translating Cuba –