More than 30 medical professionals and charities push the UK government to ban alcohol advertising in television and sports events. According to Technorati.com, this group believes that a full ban on alcohol ads will protect teens and children from the negative influence these tempting ads can bring.
According to the group's evidence, alcohol has become the leading cause of death among men aged 16 to 24 in the UK. This research shows that drinking is responsible for 27% of these deaths. Sir Ian Gilmore, chairman of the Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA), said, "We know that young people are heavily influenced by advertising and marketing. The evidence shows that when children are exposed to adverts they tend to drink at an earlier age, to drink more, and are more likely to end up developing a problem with alcohol in later life."
Current UK advertising regulations do not allow alcohol advertisements during programs with an audience that is predominately children. There is not regulationon any other programs, so alcohol advertisements are often shown during sitcoms, or other shows that may have a large number of young viewers. Gilmore said, "Britain's attitude to drink has changed dramatically, so that it has become all-pervasive, always available and constantly marketed. In terms of consumption, we need to change the norms, to get back to where we were 20 or 30 years ago."
To reach their goals, this group of doctors recommends a complete ban on all television advertising of alcohol, coupled with rules preventing alcohol advertising or sponsorship at sports events. They suggest taking the same approach as the French, banning any advertisements that could be shown to a significant number of youth, including films, music festivals, and other events. Ireland has also recently enforced such bans, and health care professionals believe this is the best way to change a culture of drinking.
The British government has also been looking into minimum pricing for alcohol. Research suggests that a 40p limit would result in 50,000 fewer crimes each year, and 900 fewer alcohol-related deaths. Included in these recommendations by AHA, a 50p minimum would be put in place, claiming this would result in 97,000 fewer hospital admissions within the next ten years. This minimum pricing movement has been unpopular among many in the UK, but it could help fight the binge drinking culture that has emerged in Britain.
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