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Is alcohol the new tobacco? – PR WEEK POST #19


September 9, 2009

(Click here for the original post on PR Week)

Since writing my last blog on binge drinking, a new report has been published to offer a solution.  Especially among the young.

Earlier this week the British Medical Association published a report (link takes you to the PDF) entitled: ‘Under the influence: The damaging effect of alcohol marketing on young people’. In this report, a set of nine recommendations are made to the UK Government – including the ‘implementation and rigorous enforcement of a comprehensive ban on all alcohol marketing communications’.

I am not going to speculate on the likely positive or negative effects a ban may have on our social or economic picture but I can’t help wondering if alcohol is now viewed as the new tobacco.  Casting our minds back to the 1970s, it is rumoured that the US government finally decided to ban tobacco advertising when the social and health costs of managing smoking-related illnesses outweighed the taxation income.

Drink prices keep falling and healthcare keeps rising.  Are we in the same place with alcohol as we were with tobacco?