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BMA supports anti-alcohol advertising bill

By Ellie Broughton

The BMA has thrown its weight behind draft legislation to protect children from alcohol advertising, due to be debated by MPs next week.

The private members bill – proposed by GP-turned-MP Dr Sarah Wollaston – will introduce measures to reduce the children’s exposure to alcohol marketing, and increase the restrictions on promotional messages for alcohol.

Deputy chair of the BMA’s Board of Science, Mr Ram Moorthy, said: ‘The BMA is extremely pleased that Dr Sarah Wollaston is introducing this bill.

‘In our last report on alcohol marketing and alcohol misuse, the BMA highlighted the millions of pounds the alcohol industry spends on promoting alcohol, which we know can encourage young people to start drinking and to consume more alcohol than is healthy.’

The draft legislation is based on French laws, introduced in 1991, that allow alcohol advertising in the media aimed at adults but not children, and ensure that promotional messages are factual and verifiable. Alcohol consumption in France has been falling consistently since1960.

Dr Wollaston, the Conservative MP for Totnes, will present the bill to Parliament on Wednesday 30 March.

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