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Alcohol control advice rejected

15th September 2006

15092006_drinkanddrugs1.jpgThe government has rejected advice by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.

The Council in its report, Pathways to Problems, recommended tighter controls on alcohol advertising and sponsorship.
 
Lord Adonis, Schools Minister, said the government was focusing on existing policies to combat a consumption rise. Fifteen-year-olds in Britain are among Europe's heaviest users of alcohol, cannabis and tobacco.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, which is appointed by the Home Office, said tougher methods to teach children about alcohol and tobacco were needed. It also called for alcohol advertising to be banned on TV and at most cinemas, and the prevention of brewers from sponsoring sports and music events. It called on the Government to "seriously consider" raising tax on alcohol, and to raise the legal smoking age from 16 to 18. 

Ministers had no plans to ban alcohol adverts or alcohol firms sponsoring events, said a spokeswoman for the Department for Culture Media and Sport.  They also ruled out a proposal by the Council for a new lower drink-drive limit for young adults.

However, Lord Adonis said that the government would take on board the advice to pay much more attention to best practice in drugs education in schools. 

The report says that alcohol use has grown most among the young in recent years, especially among girls. It highlights the size of the problem of drink, drug and alcohol abuse among teenagers; up to half of 15-year-olds are drinking alcohol at least once a week, a quarter have used illegal drugs in the past month, and around 20 to 25 per cent of 15-year-olds are regular smokers.
 

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