On 30th March 2011 Dr Sarah Wollaston MP presented a Private Member’s Bill urging the Government to adopt a new approach to protect UK children from alcohol advertising.

The Bill calls on the Government to adapt the French “Loi Evin” that allows alcohol advertising in media aimed at adults but not children, and ensures that promotional messages are factual and verifiable.

The Loi Evin was introduced in France in 1991 to protect their children from alcohol marketing and has been described as a key plank in France’s effort to reduce its alcohol problems. Alcohol consumption in France has been falling consistently since 1960.

An article published the same week in the BMJ discusses the affect of alcohol marketing on children in the UK. The authors highlight that, in contrast to France, the UK has opted for self-regulatory codes and now has one of the highest levels of binge drinking and drunkenness among schoolchildren in Europe.

To see the full text of Sarah Wollaston’s debate in parliament, with details of the Bill, click here.

To read the corresponding article in the BMJ; “Alcohol Marketing to Children” by Gerard Hastings and Nick Sheron, click here.