Ban alcohol marketing say doctors8th September 2009
Doctors have called for alcohol advertising, including sports and music festival sponsorship, to be banned.
The British Medical Association said the move was important in order to reduce the amount people were drinking.
The NHS payment on the treatment of alcohol-related injuries and illnesses has been estimated at "up to" £3 billion annually, with a loss of productivity costing the economy over £7 billion a year.
The amount that people drink has also been increasing over recent years and around one third of people in the UK drink over the recommended levels.
The BMA's report said that £200 million was spent annually on alcohol advertising. It also called attention to loyalty schemes, competitions and sponsorship deals as ways of promoting alcohol products.
The BMA stated that more severe pricing on alcohol and reduced licensing hours were needed, in addition to a complete ban on advertising.
Dr Vivienne Nathanson, the BMA's head of science and ethics, said: "The BMA is not anti-alcohol. As doctors our focus is to ensure that individuals drink sensible so they do not put their health and lives in danger."
Don Shenker, of Alcohol Concern, said: "There's no longer any doubt - the heavy marketing and promotion of alcohol, combined with low prices - are encouraging young people to drink at a level our health services are struggling to cope with."
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