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Call to tighten alcohol laws

COREY MARTIN | The Examiner | Sept. 22, 2012, midnight

THE alcohol industry should be subject to strict advertising guidelines, according to Tasmanian Cornerstone Youth Services executive officer Cate Sinclair.

Ms Sinclair said conditions similar to those imposed on tobacco companies should be applied to help to reduce alcohol misuse and binge drinking among young people.

Federal politicians are considering launching a parliamentary inquiry into alcohol marketing and its self-regulation, which was supported at the Australian Medical Association alcohol summit held in Canberra earlier this week.

Professionals at the summit raised concerns about the ways young people were being wooed into drinking by social media campaigns, advertising and various sponsorships.

"Alcohol companies should not be allowed to advertise at all," Ms Sinclair said.

"Sexifying alcohol and making it look glamorous is obviously the enticing strategy they use to get young people involved, but, equally, point of sale promotions that they use in pubs and clubs to get people to consume alcohol is concerning as well."

Ms Sinclair said marketing at all levels needed to be looked at.

"I don't think it should be just social media dedicated," she said.

"It's any level of consumer marketing that should be seriously mandated and looked at."

Ms Sinclair said more education for young people and parents was needed and she suggested tighter restrictions on responsible service rules, fake identification and serving people under the age of 18.

"We work with young people around alcohol and other drug misuse and it is definitely not decreasing," she said.

"Increasing the legal limit to 21 (years) would help but the bottom line is that it is never going to eradicate the problem.

"It's about teaching young people safe drinking practices such as drinking on a full stomach, making sure you're with safe people, having water in between drinks, not mixing drinks - all of those standard strategies."

Courtesy of The Examiner

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