Young and Alcohol – A new approach launched in Government Action Plan

Institute of Alcohol Studies Comment

IAS welcome the Youth Alcohol Action Plan as an overdue
step in the right direction. We welcome particularly the setting up of
an expert panel to advise the Chief Medical Officer on the evidence in
regard to alcohol consumption and the health and welbeing of children
and adolescents. IAS is represented on this expert panel.

However, while welcoming the launch of the new plan, IAS cautions that:

  • the problems of teenage drinking cannot be tackled in
    isolation from those of the wider society, in particular those in young
    adults;
  • as well as reacting to obvious and growing social and
    health problems caused by a culture of heavy teenage drinking and
    intoxication, a more strategic approach could be adopted to tackle the
    reasons for this culture developing in the first place. This would
    involve reducing the exposure of children and adolescents to intensive
    and highly sophisticated alcohol advertising and marketing which is
    unhelpful in the present context;
  • the impact of the youth alcohol action plan would be
    enhanced by combining it with the introduction of a new lower
    (effectively zero) blood alcohol limit for novice drivers.