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Ban booze ads - Greens

30 January 2002

Ban booze ads - Greens

Green Youth Affairs Spokesperson Nandor Tanczos today said the Government must ban alcohol advertising if it was concerned about the effects of alcohol on young people.

New Zealand research shows that teenagers who recalled beer ads when aged 15 were more likely to drink more by age 18.

"The talk about raising or lowering the drinking age is a red herring. The real issue is not whether people use alcohol but the manner in which they do so," said Nandor.

Auckland Hospital emergency medical specialist Peter Jones said on National Radio on Monday that the liquor law changes had 'exposed a younger age group to the societal norm of drinking to excess'.

"The real problem is not the age but the norm in this country that it is cool to get pissed. It doesn't matter if you are 18 or 38, drinking too much makes you behave like a dick and is bad for you.

"The research shows the link between alcohol promotion and heavy drinking. If the Government is serious about the welfare of young people it will make banning alcohol advertising a priority, and instead promote harm reduction messages of responsible alcohol use."

In 1998 there was approximately $52 million worth of alcohol sponsorship and advertising on television and radio and in newspapers and magazines.

"The Greens want to reduce the harmful effects of alcohol. That doesn't mean arresting people for drinking, but it does mean promoting moderation," said Nandor.

"Tobacco advertising and sponsorship has been banned. There is no good reason for allowing alcohol advertising to continue, unless corporate profits are more important than our people," he said.

"Fiddling with the drinking age will make little difference while booze companies are free to glamorise their products by linking them to national icons such as the All Blacks."


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