WHO seeks bans on alcohol discounts in anti-abuse drive

The World Health Organisation is calling for discounts on drinks to be banned and for advertising targeting young people to be scrapped as part of a strategy to cut alcohol abuse approved Thursday.

 

The strategy drawn up by the UN health agency and approved by its 193-member states at an annual meeting of health ministers also pushes for an end to flat rates for unlimited drinking and for sponsorship to be regulated.

With some 320,000 young people aged 15 to 29 years dying from alcohol-related causes in 2004, the strategy took aim at the marketing of beverages which contributes to getting young people hooked.

"The transmission of alcohol marketing messages across national borders and jurisdictions on channels such as satellite television and the Internet, and sponsorship of sports and cultural events is emerging as a serious concern in some countries," it said.

"The exposure of children and young people to appealing marketing is of particular concern, as is the targeting of new markets in developing and low and middle income countries with a current low prevalence of alcohol consumption or high abstinence rates," it added.

The non-binding strategy urges states to regulate sponsorship activities and the content of marketing, as well as its volume.

It also asks governments to restrict or ban promotions connected to activities targeting young people.

Noting that pricing could discourage underaged drinking and heavy consumption, the WHO sought bans or restrictions on the use of price promotions, discount sales, sales below cost and flat rates for unlimited drinking.

The WHO also asked for the "days and hours of retail sales" to be regulated since the easy supply of alcohol has an impact on usage.

In addition, it called for retail to be licenced and the number of location of alcohol outlets to be regulated.

To limit harm done from any violence arising from alcohol abuse, the health agency called for alcohol to be served in plastic mugs or shatter-proof glass.

It also encouraged the labelling of alcoholic beverages to reflect the "harm related to alcohol".

The strategy enjoyed broad support from both developing and developed countries, with states such as Australia, China, Germany, South Africa and the United States all speaking in favour of it.

Australia noted that alcohol abuse was a "very significant health problem" while China pointed out that preventive measures were a "cornerstone" in cutting the problem.

An estimated 2.5 million people died of alcohol-related causes in 2004, according to the WHO.

Alcohol is listed as the third leading risk factor for premature deaths and disabilities in the world, added the agency.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Author / Multimedia Writer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This recognized leader in providing software s...

    Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

    £40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

    Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

    Day In a Page

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

    Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

    Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent