The Alcohol Advertising Review Board (AARB) has just released their first annual report, which reveals that there is an urgent need for alcohol promotion in Australia to be better regulated.
The AARB is a joint venture between the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth and the Cancer Council Western Australia.
Their report demonstrates that young people are being targeted by inappropriate advertising campaigns involving sports sponsorship, product packaging designed to appeal to the young, and the promotion of excessive alcohol consumption.
According to Alcohol in Australia: Issues and Strategies, a report endorsed by the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy, the harmful use of alcohol by adults and young people is one of the leading causes of preventable public health problems and death in Australia.
A distressing seven per cent of male and four per cent of female deaths are the direct result of alcohol abuse, says the report, with strokes, fall injuries and alcoholic liver cirrhosis being among the most common causes of alcohol-related deaths.
"The impact of the creativity shown by the alcohol industry in promoting its products is shocking and concerning," said Professor Fiona Stanley, a leading child health advocate in Australia.
She said that our children should not be exposed, directly or indirectly, to so much alcohol promotion.
Director of the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth, Professor Mike Daube, agreed, stating that "self-regulation by the alcohol and advertising industries is a dismal failure".
He also revealed that 80 percent of alcohol imbued by Australians aged between 14 and 24 "is consumed in ways that put the drinker’s and others’ health at risk".
The AARB is deeply concerned about the encouragement children and young people are being given to not only start drinking early in life, but also drink to dangerous levels.
If you are concerned about the health of your children, you may want to consider organising a family health insurance plan.