Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Ban alcohol advertising and products: NGOs

New Delhi: A new report by a group of NGOs Tuesday highlighted the ill-effects of advertising and marketing of alcohol on young people, and proposed a comprehensive ban on all kinds of marketing strategies that seek to portray drinking as normal.
"To reduce alcohol consumption, it is very important that the governments enforce a comprehensive ban on all kinds of advertising of alcohol brands and products.
"A separate government agency should be formed to monitor this ban," said the report titled "Alcohol Marketing and Regulatory Policy Environment in India" released here.
The report was developed by the Public Health Foundation of India in collaboration with Delhi-based NGO Hriday and Swedish National Institute of Public Health.
Monika Arora, director of the health promotions unit of Public Health Foundation of India blamed advertising for promoting the use of alcohol among youth.
"It has been seen that children who are exposed to alcohol use in movies are more likely to have tried alcohol compared to those who have not been exposed," Arora said.
The report includes an overview of the alcohol industry in India, its key players, the growth patterns and advertising and promotion of alcohol products in India.
It recommended strategies and interventions for policy makers and other key stakeholders to consider as part of a comprehensive alcohol control policy in India.
"It is important to integrate alcohol control in the school curricula as the elementary level so that future generations are sensitised early on.
"Since alcohol use is interconnected with crime, violence against women and sexual deviance, its control must be the priority for the government and civil society alike," planning commission member Syeda Hameed said while releasing the report.
The report said India is the dominant producer of alcohol (65 percent) in the southeast Asian region and also contributes to about seven percent of total alcohol beverage imports into the region.
India is also the third largest global spirits market by volume in the world, just behind China and Russia.

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