Call for ban on alcohol advertising

There are renewed calls for a total ban on alcohol advertising and sponsorship.

The College of Psychiatry of Ireland says there have been multiple breaches of the self-regulatory code whereby the drinks industry is supposed to protect children from advertising.

They have cited research showing that 86% of Irish teenagers - and more than one in five primary school children - have experimented with alcohol.

Psychiatrist Dr Bobby Smyth says it is the Government's duty to safeguard children from exploitation by alcohol advertising.

"The negative impact that early alcohol use has on the developing teenage brain has never been clearer than in the last couple of years," Dr Smyth said. "Hence, we think robust action is needed.

"Alcohol advertising is one of the strategies by which the drinks industry as a whole stimulates alcohol use in the country.

"We think it would be better to take our foot off that particular accelerator and to terminate all advertising and sponsorship for the moment."

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