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WHO Asks Countries to Crack down on Alcohol Marketing

According to doctors, the consumption of alcohol can lead to mental and behavioral disorders, alcohol addiction, liver cirrhosis, cardiovascular diseases, and some cancers.
10 May 2022 16:10
The World Health Organization-WHO has asked countries to set up regulations that will ban the marketing of alcoholic products.

According to doctors, the consumption of alcohol can lead to mental and behavioral disorders, alcohol addiction, liver cirrhosis, cardiovascular diseases, and some cancers.

Drinking alcohol can also lead to road traffic crashes which can result in death or major injuries. 

To stop such effects on human life, the UN health agency is now calling on member states to regulate the marketing of alcohol which has gone unchecked. The WHO is proposing tough measures such as those used to control the use of tobacco like the use of warning graphic images on alcohol products to dissuade users. 

The recommendations were made in the first WHO report ever that exposes how companies are using digital marketing techniques and different avenues of entertainment to target prospective consumers.

The report highlights the use of sporting events such as soccer and even movies to market branded beers. Such adverts are believed to target the youth who are highly vulnerable.

According to WHO estimates, one person dies every 10 seconds as a result of the harmful use of alcohol. This is believed to represent around 5 percent of all deaths or 3 million people. 13.5 percent of these deaths occur among 20 to 39-year-olds.

The WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, says strict regulations can save the lives of many.

"Alcohol robs young people, their families, and societies of their lives and potential. Yet despite the clear risks to health, controls on the marketing of alcohol are much weaker than for other psychoactive products. Better, well enforced, and more consistent regulation of alcohol marketing would both save and improve young lives across the world," Dr. Ghebreyesus said.

According to a WHO study, half of the world's countries do not have any regulations in place for internet or social media marketing for alcohol. 

Dag Rekve from the Alcohol, Drugs and Addictive Behaviors Unit at WHO says the use of digital media makes it hard for countries to control the marketing of such products.

"The rising importance of digital media means that alcohol marketing has become increasingly cross-border. This makes it more difficult for countries that are regulating alcohol marketing to effectively control it in their jurisdictions. More collaboration between countries in this area is needed,” he said.