Sunday 30 April 2017

Ireland needs to call time on alcohol marketing and sports sponsorship

Leinster’s Ben Te’o scoring a try in the Guinness PRO12. Sports fans are increasingly exposed to alcohol marketing
Leinster’s Ben Te’o scoring a try in the Guinness PRO12. Sports fans are increasingly exposed to alcohol marketing

Thomas Babor and David Jernigan

Alcohol is no ordinary commodity. Since the Code of Hammurabi in Ancient Mesopotamia more than 25 centuries ago, alcohol has been regulated in the interests of health and safety.

The World Health Organization has recommended comprehensive restrictions on alcohol marketing to address alcohol's role in accidents, injuries and chronic diseases. Given the heavy toll of alcohol-related harm, and on young people in particular, it is time for serious policy conversations about reducing the exposure of young people to alcohol marketing and sports sponsorship.

Alcohol marketing and sponsorship have become pervasive and insidious with the recent concentration of the alcohol industry into transnational corporations that have incorporated former national breweries like Guinness and Budweiser into globalised portfolios.

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