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Comedians head ad campaign against underage drinking

14th January 2010

A new advertising campaign aimed at getting parents to educate their children about the dangers of drinking too much alcohol is being fronted by well-known comedians.

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Comics Russell Kane, Josie Long, Jo Brand and Bill Bailey are involved in the initiative.

Ms Brand admits to drinking heavily between the ages of 14 and 19.

She added: "That came from my family never even mentioning alcohol to me. I had a very strict family but they didn't explore the whole alcohol thing.

"It put me in the most ridiculously dangerous positions. You have so much false courage as a teenager and you just really can't trust anyone, because when you are drunk I think people take advantage of you."

Figures show that 6,000 children under 16 end up in hospital every year as a result of alcohol.

The latest campaign by the Department for Children, Schools and Families follows warnings from England's chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson to parents not to give children aged 15 or under any alcohol at home.

Professor Colin Pritchard from Bournemouth University, who has researched teenage drinking, is concerned that such a campaign could backfire and glamorise teenage drinking.

He said ministers should instead focus on restricting the availability of alcoholic drinks.

However, Alcohol Concern welcomed the campaign and agreed parents could help steer their children away from problem drinking.

Spokesman Don Shenker said: “Setting a good example by drinking responsibly also helps, as does knowing the facts and being honest with children about the harms that too much alcohol can cause.”

 

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