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Nandor says alcohol ads have to go

20 November 2001

Green Party Drug Policy spokesperson Nandor Tanczos said today that alcohol ads should be banned to help combat an increase in binge drinking by teenagers.

"Allowing 'alcohol is cool' advertising to continue when the drinking age was lowered in 1999 was just asking for trouble," he said.

"People are very ready to blame the lowering of the drinking age for the increase in teenage drinking, but the pro-alcohol message sent to young people through advertising should wear a large part of the blame."

Nandor said when Parliament voted to lower the drinking age to 18, nothing was put in place to educate young people about the downside of drinking, especially heavy drinking.

"Alcohol advertising was allowed to continue - giving teenagers the message that drinking is cool, trendy and without consequences.

"With the exception of a few traffic safety ads, there is very little balancing information which says alcohol can be dangerous.

"We need to get messages out there to tell our young people - if you abuse this substance, you may end up doing stupid things which you regret for a long time, like having unprotected sex with strangers, driving a car when you're pissed or ending up in a fight.

Nandor said he felt strongly about the issue, because he gave young people credit for having a brain.

"People of 18 or 19 can make good decisions about how to use alcohol, they just need the right information to do it. Instead of locking up the liquor cabinet for another two years until they are 20, it would be much better to teach them how to use alcohol safely and in moderation."


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