AMA calls for tighter alcohol regulation

Monday, 25 February, 2013


The alcohol industry’s self-regulation has failed, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) has said, with the industry involved pushing to “lure young people into early and potentially harmful drinking patterns”. The AMA is calling on the federal government to launch an inquiry into alcohol marketing to teenagers and young people.

“Alcohol marketing is a pervasive and dangerous presence in the lives of our young people,” said Dr Steve Hambleton, President of the AMA.

“Young people are starting to drink at an earlier age, and most drink in ways that put their health at risk.

“But the current voluntary industry-administered approach to marketing regulation has failed to stem the growth and impact of alcohol marketing in Australia.

“It is time for a proper inquiry into alcohol marketing and regulation, which exposes the failure of the current regime and proposes realistic and enforceable government sanctions.”

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, a British public health advocate, has backed Dr Hambleton’s comments, saying that the UK and Australia face similar health problems caused by alcohol, particularly among young people.

In both countries, the industry is exploiting gaps in policy to promote drinking, undermining efforts to tackle the problem, Sir Ian Gilmore said.

The AMA has released a report, Alcohol Marketing and Young People: Time for a new policy agenda. The AMA says the report highlights the “tricks and methods” alcohol companies use - including social media - to market their products to young people. The report is available on the AMA website: www.ama.com.au.

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