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MOH Opposes Change Alcohol Advertising Watershed

Ministry of Health opposes recommendation to change alcohol advertising watershed

The Ministry of Health opposes recommendations to allow advertising to screen on television from 8.30pm.

The Alcohol Advertising Review Panel has recommended that the restriction on the advertising of alcohol products be moved forward from a watershed of 9pm to a watershed of 8.30pm.

The Ministry’s Director of Public Health, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, says that if any change is warranted it would be to move the time for alcohol advertising back to 9.30pm or later.

“I believe that the change recommended by the Panel is not consistent with statements made on minimising youth drinking in the report, and would work against the Ministry of Health’s stated principles of minimising youth drinking,” says Dr Tukuitonga.

"A priority of the National Drug Policy is to reduce the prevalence of binge drinking and other harmful drinking patterns among young people. Some research suggests advertising may promote heavier drinking among children by embedding positive images which arouse alcohol expectancies that are later activated in memory as children age."

Dr Tukuitonga, who is also a member of the Panel, says he is unable the recommendation to change the watershed as set out in the Panel’s report.

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